I will rarely proselytize my readers, but I think this is cool enough to rate a mention: Books for Africa.
Books For Africa. A simple name for a simple organization with a simple mission. We collect, sort, ship and distribute books to children in Africa. That’s all we do. Our goal: to end the book famine in Africa.
Like a lot of cool things, this program has its beginnings in Minnesota… a bookstore owner named Tom Warth visited Africa and saw libraries with empty shelves. There are rare people who just see a problem and think, Oh, I could do something about this. Now his organization ships 1-2 million books a year.
Recently BFA arranged a “Million Book March” in Liberia, where several years of civil war basically wiped out the reading supply, even for universities. Primary and secondary schools also benefited from the march, with 500 books going to each primary school and 2,000 to each secondary school. I used to live in Liberia, and the story caught my eye. Quite a coincidence to find out this remarkable program originated right next door in St. Paul. Next time I have a big box of books, I’m going to them instead of the used book store.
If you think this program is cool and want to do something, follow the link above. Or just buy a few books from Better World Books, which dedicates its profits to programs like BFA.