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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

African Library Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development

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 2,100 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 2,164,8462 books to Africa serving over 2 million readers.

Target demographics: Africans, especially students, 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

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

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.

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.

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

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.