Friday, May 10, 2013

Feel Good Friday - African Library Project

Last week, Feel Good Friday went to Africa to learn about Wangari Maathai and all the tree planting she's done in Africa. We're back in Africa again this week to talk about what sometimes becomes of trees - books!

 Boy I met in Lesotho
According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 1 in 3 adults in Sub-Saharan Africa can not read. Not surprising considering most African children grow up without books. African Library Project (ALP) is changing that.

ALP was started by Chris Bradshaw in 2005 after a trip to Lesotho. While visiting she learned that there was only one library in the country and she knew she had to do something. ALP is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that coordinates book drives in North America, then partners with African communities to turn these donated books into small libraries. 
Chris Bradshaw

To date people have donated and shipped over one million books! ALP has a grassroots approach which mobilizes US volunteers, from schools, clubs - really anyone who wants to get involved - to organize book drives then ship the books to a partner library in Africa. The African school is required to provide the space, bookshelves and staffing for the library in order to encourage sustainability. They also specify the types of books that would have the greatest impact.

Libraries are cool - why don't you get one started?

Want to learn more? Watch a short video called One Million Books. Read articles at Communicate Good and the Huffington Post or friend them on Facebook. I did.

1 comment:

Chris Bradshaw said...

Hey Miss K! Thanks for spreading the word about the African Library Project and for liking us on FB:) Nice job of summing up what we do for your readers. We think it is pretty cool that by collecting 1,000 gently used children's books and raising about $500, anyone in the USA or Canada can help start a library in Africa. It is clear from your blog that you know the need very well.