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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

1 Elaine63

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The African Library Project is a great non profit! Almost entirely volunteer based,

it makes a huge impact on parts of rural Africa with a very low-overhead.

Great leadership and a great team. It has been a pleasure working with them.

Elaine S. Wiener
Gifted Education Communicator
Journal for the California Association for the Gifted
17elaine@att.net

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When a good friend got involved with the African Library Project, I jumped right on the band wagon! I am involved with other nonprofits, but I found that this project is outstanding in every way. They are always willing to answer questions and communicate the necessary information. This made collecting and shipping the books much easier. The African Library Projects not only helps students in the school involved, but also is a positive experience for all involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

African Library project is providing outstanding service to rise the world literacy. My son did book drives for this and sent books to start library in Africa. We are humbled to know that used children’s books that we collect here make a huge difference in kids’ education in Africa. The staff at African library project are awesome, they supported my son during his book drives with timely guidance.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization doing fantastic work. The leadership is some of the strongest I've seen, the attention to fiscal responsibility is so high, the passion and love for the work is terrific. Perhaps most impressive is the partnerships with African organizations who will always have a deeper understanding of how to operate within their own countries than foreigners will. The organization shows deep understanding for how things are done in other countries, and deep respect.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ALP is an awesome organization -- great cause, dedicated team, organized and a well informed working team. We have completed two library drives and currently in progress with the third. ALP team was always on time, directing us with instructions to collect, label and ship. We will be doing more book drives with ALP!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ALP is a very worthy program and the members were very easy to work with. It is great knowing that we helped build libraries in Africa and as a result children are learning to read.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I are involved in volunteering African Library Project! ALP is one of the greatest organization to work with. We have completed 3 book drives and 4th is going on. We couldn't have achieved this without ALP volunteers, they are very professional and exceptional. I have had an wonderful experience with ALP. Kudos to ALP founder and organization!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The African Library Project is one of the most encouraging nonprofit organizations for people of all ages. They help and support education for kids in need. Volunteering with this organization is very eye opening and life changing. Every book makes a difference so please save and donate them!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

If you are passionate about volunteering for literacy, and if you really want to make a difference in the life of children in some of the poorest countries in the world, ALP should be on the top of your list of volunteering organizations to contribute your time/money/skills.

I just recently started a book drive and thoroughly enjoying it!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ALP is an amazing organization dedicated to helping people across the globe. The people who run the organization are very efficient, responsive, and hardworking. My project went very well and I was able to help out a community on the other side of the world!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The African Library Project is one of the greatest non-profits I have ever dealt with! They are providing an easy way for the general public to get involved in creating libraries in African schools that have very few resources, thus enabling underserved students access to reading materials. The leadership of this organization is involved, caring, attentive to details, and helpful in every way possible! No question is too insignificant and all staff are readily available via email or phone. I feel a sense of true joy when interacting with any member of the staff and know they all are truly dedicated to serving students in Africa. Create a library in an African School today - all it takes is 1000 books, $500 and a little bit of hard work! You'll never regret your decision!

2 Karabo_Ramosamo

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If I could give this organization a six star rating I would do so. Allow me to share my reasons as to why.
When I was a little kid, I used to have a lot of questions. I used to wonder why I had to go to church on Sundays ,used to wonder why I had to die to go to heaven. But above all, I used to wonder why I had to go to school. So, I decided to go back into the past to look for answers. And as I paged through history yesterday, I came across a lot of events. I went to the '60s, when John Kennedy told America 'our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. It is the chief cornerstone of our existence and the foundation of our success.' But I did not stop there. I went again to a time when Nelson Mandela told South Africa, 'education is the most powerful tool one can use to change the world'. Odd enough, I did not stop there. I went back again to a time when Martin Luther King Jr told the youngsters of America ,'education is not merely an asset of privilege for an exclusive few. Rather, it is a tool to be used for paving the way towards success.'
Instantly, I knew I was answered. I immediately knew the role of education in my life. Its a pity some people never see its importance but I do hope they will someday see the light. It is also exceedingly joyful to see determined people like the African Library Project team striving to illuminate such people. They changing millions of lives with their work. I am proud to say I am their product and I would like to take this time to thank them. With their dedication and perseverance I believe we will bee able to restore many dreams a bring back the lost. And in a not so distant future we will be able to proudly say
Out from a gloomy past
Till now we stand at last
Where the bright gleam of our star
Is cast
A BIG thank you to the African Library Project!!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ALP is the perfect service project for children of all ages or school groups. ALP's model makes the goal of collecting 1000 gently used books and raising $500 for shipping very attainable. In a manner of minutes, you can set up a professional looking website that gives instant credibility to your book drive. You have use of ALPs logos, photos, and relavent facts about the African countries ALP works in. The experience is made all that much more rewarding to be connected directly with the community that you will be sending books to. You have the opportunity to send notes and pictures along with the books. I did a book drive with my kids (7 & 4ys old) this past spring. We plan to make this an annual project.

4 Mzwakithi S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a wonderful and exceptional experience working with ALP. They have a unique, streamlined process that is distinct and powerful in the aid world. With ALP, you are put in touch with the needs of a unique school, rather than a Westerner's idea about what a rural school in far away 'Africa' might need. In my case, a couple of friends and I collected books tailored to the needs of Good Shepherd High School in Siteki, Swaziland. The school had asked specifically for books that would cater to its community library, which had mostly young readers. They also asked for schools that would open up the minds of young Swazis to technology. That is exactly what we tried to fulfill.

On the tail end of the process, it is the receiver that has to pay for bringing the books from the port to the schools. This idea is embedded in the philosophy that the receivers have to take ownership of the books. Furthermore, the ALP board makes an effort to use their own personal funds to go to different countries on the African continent and see if the books are taken care of. All this is pretty much unheard in the development industry, where expensive 'experts' fly first class on aid money and live lavishly in the developing world (see William Easterly's White Man's Burder and Deborah Brautigam's The Dragon's Gift).

So to ALP, here is a well-deserved and overdue 5-star ranking from a kid who grew up reading your books back in Swaziland.

4 Kathryn41

Donor

Rating: 5

We are happy to be donors for this nonprofit organization, and have watched it grow since the idea was conceived. I get goose bumps to picture all the books being shipped to Africa, and the hope and learning they bring to these communities. It is truly a simple concept to share the joy of reading, and yet takes much work to deliver. Another great bonus is that a small group of people; families, schools, etc., can collect 1,000 used paperbacks, and start a library so very far away. It's magical!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

African Library Project is a great organisation that provides some amazing resources to communities which normally will not have the opportunity to receive them. I was involved with helping a school in Sierra Leone set up a library using books from ALP. The students, teachers, and families were thrilled to see so many books! As a teacher at the school and librarian, I saw the library and books be used daily by students and teachers alike. ALP provides wonderful training for new librarians and a how to guide on setting up a library. Again, great organisation with everlasting benefits to the communities they help!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I participated as a book packer when ALP was in its infancy and have been thrilled to see the organization start over 1600 libraries in the 10 years of its existence. I am now proud to be a donor and contribute to the growing literacy in Africa, which will result in people achieving better lives for their future and the future of their families.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Mountain View High School has been involved with the African Library Project soon after its inception. For the past 8 years, the Leo Club, which is a student led service club supported by the Sunnyvale Host Lions Club has donated a library to a school in Africa. Each year students are motivated to raise all $600 of the funds for shipping the 1,000 books they annually collect to be sent to a school in Africa so the children there have the gift to read. The students altruistically jump at the opportunity to participate in this worth while project and seek out opportunities to work together in the local community to earn the funds and collect gently used children's books. It's a project which takes months of work to help materialize, but the joy in watching students bond as they serve in the local and international communities to make this happen is rewarding beyond words.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Holding a book drive at the elementary school where I am a teacher was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my teaching career. I saw how the students grew excited to share resources with other students who live far away and, just like them, are eager to learn and grow. ALP gave me clear guidelines for book donations and how to package the boxes that would travel to our partner school. On the ALP website, there are several examples of ways to raise the money for the shipping costs. Thank you ALP for all your efforts to support and encourage literacy.

2

Board Member

Rating: 4

I strongly recommend ALP. As an all-volunteer organization they provide individuals, groups and communities a meaningful way to promote literacy in Africa. Their well established formula (1000 books + $500 = 1 library ) made it easy to participate in a book drive and was a tangible project for our students to focus on. It's a win-win situation!!