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African Library Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, International, International Development, Libraries, Literacy, Promotion of International Understanding, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: The African Library Project starts and improves small libraries in sub-Saharan Africa to promote literacy and education.

Results: Since 2005, we have started or improved 2,541 small libraries in Botswana, Cameroon, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana. We currently work with our African partners in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ghana and Swaziland. We have made over 1700 partnerships in the U.S. with schools, companies, individuals, youth groups, Scouts, and families. We have shipped over 2,578,672 books to Africa serving over 2 million readers.

Target demographics: Students and communities in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland who have limited access to books

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250,000 readers in new/improved libraries.

Geographic areas served: The United States and southern Canada

Programs: small libraries in rural areas, librarian training and best practice Summits for our partners in Africa.

Community Stories

79 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Carolyn50

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The African Library Project has a win-win partnership model for enabling literacy in Anglophone African countries: ALP's African partners reach out to and vet schools in their countries with few or no English books, and ALP's US volunteers are paired with those schools to collect 1,000 gently used books especially suited for those schools and raise about $500 to ship them via ALP's efficient, shipping container method. Each ALP African partner trains teachers in those schools to be librarians, and the result is increased literacy and a love of reading by the students, teachers and communities. This model produces US volunteers who repeatedly sign up to be matched with ALP schools/communities to collect and ship books--and even thank ALP for the satisfaction and opportunity of giving books a second life where they will be prized and read again.

I feel honored to feel a close bond with ALP's African partners. As an ALP volunteer, ALP Malawi liaison, former board member, 5-time ALP African Partner Summit participant, and frequent contributor to ALP book drives, I am honored to contribute time and funds to ALP's mission of hanging lives book by book in rural Africa. ALP is a very worthy non-profit!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The African Library Project has a unique and tremendously effective relationship with African partners in six (and counting!) countries. It is this partnership, along with model of organizing book drives in the U.S. to supply beautiful, gently used books to rural schools and communities in Africa that led me to be on the ALP board for six years and continue involvement as a volunteer and donor. Can you imagine an all-volunteer organization that can establish over 1,000 libraries in just seven years -- with lots of book-drive organizers thanking ALP for the privilege of collecting books and funds for shipping them? And wanting to do another book drive? This happens often because the process is fun and rewarding, and it works.

ALP's African partners are dedicated in receiving the book shipping containers, delivering them to the new school and community libraries, training the teacher-librarians, and following up. I have visited dozens of the libraries with ALP-donated books and seen the pleasure and learning the books bring to African children and adults.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a board member of African Library Project, as well as an active volunteer and book drive organizer. I love African Library Project because it is a very lean, mission driven, and welcoming organization. African Library Project has started/improved 2,541 libraries in sub-Saharan African using over 2.5 million gently used books. By doing this, students in African have access to reading material and can make strides towards improved literacy, and book drive organizers of all ages in the United States now have an increased understanding of another part of the world, and the satisfaction of putting books into the hands of others, while keeping books out of landfills. Doing a book drive is a great activity for individuals, organizations, clubs, families, etc!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The African Library Project is an amazing organization. I have witnessed in person how creating small libraries helps to improve children's literacy and encourages a love of reading. And the people involved in ALP on both continents are impressive and inspiring: both the dedicated American and Canadian staff and volunteers and the capable and driven African partners. I am delighted to be a part of this exceptional nonprofit.

2 ReneeC

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful way to help....taking our books and sending to schools in Africa with no books. I have been involved with the creation of several libraries with our Girl Scouts, local community, family and friends. ALP is one of the BEST hands-on experiences you will ever have!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic organization that attracts fantastic people. The board, the partners, and especially the volunteers are extremely engaged and passionate about the important work of supporting literacy while educating communities in the US and Canada about Sub Saharan Africa. Despite inherent challenges in access, the organization does a great job of closing the loop with book drive organizers and volunteers, so they can really see the impact that their donations and effort has on children and communities so many thousands of miles away. I highly encourage anyone interested in global literacy to get involved!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with this organization for over a year now. This is an amazing organization sending gently used books to African schools to set up libraries in schools that have no library. The people at the organization are dedicated, kind and passionate about their work and the donors who work toward collecting books and sending them to be shipped to Africa are as passionate about providing kids and teens with books in their schools as the people at the helm of this organization. Then there are the schools who are applying to get a library set up for their students. When I see that they are trying to set up clean, safe and accessible rooms in the schools for kids to read these books, I realize what a treasure it is to have access to books or learn to enjoy reading and how life changing it is for them all.
Pls consider organizing a book drive and give the gift of reading.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter has completed 6 book drives with this wonderful organization, and the experience was a hugely positive learning experience for her. Throughout the process she was supported fully by the wonderful staff, who made sure she was successful, and encouraged her along the way. She felt connected to the communities she was helping, due the structure of the process, and felt great satisfaction and joy as a result. Due to her involvement, I have now become a volunteer with African Library Project, and feel very proud to be part of the team. I have seen first hand that an immense amount of thought goes into all stages of the process of matching book drives with libraries in Africa. This attention to detail and dedication not only changes the lives of the children and community members that receive the books, but also inspires the book drive organizers, giving them an insight into a different world, and how they have the power to make a change. The potency of this feeling cannot be underestimated.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We can never thank African Library Project enough. ALP has been an oasis of library resource in our primary, secondary and community libraries in Malawi through its yearly donations. The Ministry of Education does not have school libraries as one of its core responsibilities such that individual schools have to make their individual efforts to have a functional school library. This means most of the libraries in Malawi are run by non professional personnel. Yet the Malawi Library Association has been running a certificate course in Library and Information Science since the 1976. In addition Mzuzu University is producing librarians at bachelors and masters level. These end up doing teaching jobs because the Ministry has no policy to employ them.

ALP Partners in Malawi are complimenting governments efforts by doing the following: distribute and vet application forms, submit applications to ALP on behalf of applicants, track shipped container, and arrange for offloading, ensure that books reach beneficiaries, assess performance of libraries and above all train teacher librarians. Through these short course training teacher librarians are equipped with basic skills in librarianship. This is a huge boost to education in Malawi.

The ALP do not only donate libraries to schools in Malawi they also hold biannual summits in various African countries where partners from across the world meet and share their rich experiences. This accords partners a platform to learn, be motivated, get inspired, inspire others and belong to this warm big family of people that have this burning desire to do more to the information hungry people in their respective countries.

Chancellor College Library we will continue to work with ALP until each and very school in Malawi has a functional library. In addition we will also work to influence government to consider a change in policy with regard to school libraries.

On a personal level I feel deeply humbled and lucky to be associated with ALP.

2 Lynita M.

Donor

Rating: 5

We absolutely love the African Library Project (ALP)!

Our organization, Leading Through Living, has worked with ALP for almost two years and has established 5 libraries in Kenya (2), Swaziland, Ghana, and Botswana. It is an empowering process that allows us to work with community partners such as Churches and schools to expand literacy across the globe, and to educate groups on other countries and cultures.

The process is so easy and the support amazing. We are working on our sixth library this fall and plan to keep going. Our pledge is that as long as the books continue to come then we will continue to fundraise. And it works!

1 Coy2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is easy to understand the gift a library is for children who lack access to books. It is not as obvious to recognize the benefit to the volunteer who collects and ships the books. I have discovered that anomously helping make the world a better place by improving poor children's chance of success brings me great joy and satisfaction. With little effort one person can make a difference.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have never been able to have the direct, positive impact on others that I have experienced with the African Library Project. Being able to create school libraries, where there are none, and, thereby, improve the standard of living and quality of life of children has been extremely rewarding for me. We can personally make the world a better place. Additionally, all the staff for the African Library Project is volunteers. So any funds raised go directly to creating libraries and helping children.

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1 Ashley K.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ALP does amazing work in the Sub Saharan African that they work with! I have seen this myself in Lesotho! All and all, ALP is a fantastic organization in the states and abroad.

6 Amy Jo C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have witnessed and experienced what it is like to be a part of the African Library Project in both the USA and in Africa. Organizing book drives and packing the books to be sent to countries in Africa is super easy and super fun. Then seeing kids in Africa who have never had books receive them, read them and learn from them is truly priceless. This is a non-profit that really changes lives, book by book!

2 Richard53

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The African Library Project (ALP) does an amazing job of connecting book drives in the United States with libraries in schools and villages in Africa. I learned about the project as it was starting up and over the years it amazes me that their considered and committed approach has resulted in over 2 million books sent to two thousand African libraries!

I very much admire the way in which anyone - an individual, a school group, an organization - can decide to collect books and money, and know when and where their contribution will go. I am an avid reader and know first-hand that libraries can be the lifeblood of schools and communities.

Two thumbs up and five stars!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for African Library Project now for a year. It is a fantastic organization that provides libraries to schools in Africa which don't have many books. I love working with the people who sign up to gather 1000 books and $500. They often are surprised at the outpouring of support in their communities for their book drives and are able to provide two libraries. It's great to see a plethora of cast off used children's books end up in the hands of kids who really need them. It is refreshing to be able to use my time and skills to help with literacy instead of only writing a check.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have found those who run this Organization extremely dedicated. It is their passion to get books in the hands of thes kids who otherwise will not have access to these books.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have done two libraries with African Library Project through my church. Through African Library Project we are able to bring literacy to children in rural Malawi.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone I've told about the African Library Project (ALP) who has become a book-drive organizer (collected 1,000 gently used children's books and raised $500 for shipping them) has actually thanked ME for the opportunity (through ALP) to help start a school library in Africa. ALP has incredible impact, which I've seen myself as a visitor to dozens of the schools where the libraries have been established. The "partnership" strategy between African education organizations and ALP's American volunteers means that all work together to accomplish the goal of improving literacy and the joy of reading.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They do great work connecting book drives in America with school libraries in Africa! What a great cause.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I have run three book drives through the African Library Project, in addition to contributing to many other book drives over the years run by various schools in our area. I was so pleased to find a really concrete way to make a positive impact on the lives of people living halfway around the world.

As a teacher, I understand how absolutely critical it is to have access to books - without them it is nearly impossible to teach literacy skills, history, science, or an understanding of how other people live in other parts of the world. As a parent, I appreciated this opportunity to reinforce for my child the importance of education while experiencing the joy that comes from helping others.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

If you are looking for a great service project for your kids, school, or community, ALP should be on your radar. ALP enables volunteers to make a life changing impact on children and communities in rural Africa. You will know exactly which country and community in Africa the books you collect will be going to. This is a project everyone can relate to no matter your age because everyone loves books and understands the power of literacy.