One of Books4Cause’s main goals is to improve access to education and books for people across the world. That’s why we work with the African Library Project, which does the vital on-the-ground work of building libraries in schools of all levels. Recently, we’ve sent books to help build the following libraries:
- Kalkfontein Primary School, Botswana
- Karakubis Primary School, Botswana
- Kole Primary School, Botswana
- New Kanagas Library, Botswana
- Moeing College, Botswana
- Mathiba 1 Memorial School, Botswana
- Luoro Primary School, Kenya
- Malawi Exploits University, Malawi
Each of these different libraries have different needs, depending on the school’s level and focus. Malawi Exploits University’s business library needs very different books from the Kalkfontein Primary School! Our process for collecting, sorting, and sending books requires time and care.
First, we collect books. These come from book donations! People donate books to our locations in Skokie and Chicago through drop-off or local pickup, and we also run book drives for book donations across the country. These book donations come from Philadelphia, New York City, Madison, St. Louis– all across the East Coast and Midwest.
Next, we sort the books to make sure we are only sending good condition, high wuality books in line with what certain schools or communities request. Sometimes they have to do with a particular topic or theme, like nature, history, science, etc. For example, right now we are working with the ALP to build a library for a school in Tanzania that specifically requested children’s books about animals.
We also make sure to sort the books by reading level.
After the books have been collected and sorted, we carefully box them up and load them onto pallets. The pallets are shipped to New Orleans, where they are then grouped with other book drives from around the country and put onto a shipping container.
Once they’ve been shipped to their destination, the ALP works with local partners to receive them at the nearest port city to their destination. For landlocked countries, this can be quite difficult! The ALP has partners all over the continent which help with customs and distribution. Often, books are sent to communities with limited road access, and are transported by community members for miles on foot.
Finally, the books are unpacked and set up into libraries!
We are always glad to help communities grow!