BFA Founder Walks Across Zanzibar for Literacy

BFA founder, Tom Warth, celebrated his 80th birthday by walking across Zanzibar Island in East Africa.  He, along with a group of twenty five Books For Africa donors, traveled to Tanzania in February 2016. Arriving in Zanzibar, they completed the twenty mile trek in two days and in good spirits, despite "pretty fearsome heat and humidity." 

Key Books For Africa partners in Tanzania and Zanzibar supported the event. David Robinson, the son of American baseball great Jackie Robinson, has lived in Tanzania since 1981 where he directs a cooperative of small coffee famers. Mr. Robinson discusses the importance of books in this video. Also joining the walk from Tanzania were Mr. Mungwe ABC Athman, Co-Director of the Poverty Eradication Network Trust in Dodoma, and Catherine Mbena, representing Tanzania National Parks.

The walking delegation was received by former first lady of Tanzania, The Honorable Anna Mkapa, who graciously hosted an evening reception at her Dar es Salaam home. Tom Warth presented Mrs. Mkapa with a ceremonial donation of BFA's two-millionth book to Tanzania, pictured here.

Representing the sponsors of the Zanzibar Book Walk were Nasibu Sareva and Emma Kasiga of the African Development Center, Kjell Bergh of Borton Overseas, Kaitlyn O’Brien and Connie Cheng of Out of Print, Lane Ayres on behalf of Thomson Reuters, Henry Bromelkamp of Africa Classroom Connection, Sichana Foum, Director of Zanzibar Library Services, and Books For Africa Board President Luanne Nyberg.

On the home front, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press and WCCO Radio were among the media outlets that took note of the impact of the Zanzibar Book Walk.  A video capturing the spirit of the Zanzibar Book Walk was graciously compiled and edited by Richard Warth, and can be seen below.

Tom Warth has also traversed The Gambia, scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, walked across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and from the Canadian border to Iowa, all to promote literacy in Africa.  Tom continues to inspire generosity and spur action with his commitment to ending the book famine in Africa.  BFA thanks all the sponsors, participants, and donors who supported the Zanzibar Book Walk!