Read Around The Continents

Read Around The Continents: The African Library Project

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We are off on a new adventure!

And this adventure I’d like to call Jump Into A Book’s Read Around The Continents series.

Read Around The Continents

I wanted to share today a little bit about the African Library Project as part of our Read Around the Continents series. This week we will be looking at the continent of Africa and all of the rich stories, nature, wildlife, and people that goes along with it. Unfortunately, Africa is one of the poorest continents on the planet and with that comes illiteracy. Global literacy is one of the easiest ways to end poverty. Today let’s have a look at a woman named Chris Bradshaw and the incredible work she is doing to help illiteracy in Africa for old and young alike.


The African Library Project was founded in 2005 by Chris Bradshaw and her family from Portola Valley, California. During a family vacation of visiting remote villages in Lesotho (a small mountainous kingdom in Southern Africa), Chris decided to work towards ending the cycle of poverty and illiteracy. She realized that the simple act of establishing libraries with gently-used books would have a profound effect in increasing literacy, and she worked closely with local teachers and community leaders to begin the African Library Project.The African Library Project changes lives book by book by starting libraries in rural Africa.

The African Library Project coordinates book drives in the United States and partners with African schools and villages to create small libraries.

Recently the African Library Project delivered their one millionth book. Have a look at the short video below to see how your gently used books can go to build a library in Africa.

Did you know ?

  • Most African children grow up without books, while U.S. bookshelves and landfills overflow with books no longer read.
  • Africa has the highest percentage of illiteracy in the world.
  • Books are the key to increasing literacy, and literacy is the #1 tool out of poverty.
  • Many African teachers teach reading, writing, math and English without even a single book to use as a resource.
  • Many adult Africans lose their ability to read due to a lack of reading materials.
  • The UN has decreed 2003-2012 the United Nations Literacy Decade to underscore the importance of literacy and basic education as major tools in building a cohesive and peaceful society for the 21st century.

I’m happy to share that Jump into a Book and Audrey Press have chosen the African Library Project as one of their charity projects for 2013 and we are on our  way to building our first library in Africa. in 2013, each time a book is purchased from Audrey Press we will donate 30% of our profits to literacy charities throughout the world.


The African Library Project is an all-volunteer organization, so 100% of your donations support library development.  As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, all U.S. donations to ALP are tax-deductible. You can donate by regular mail or online.

Reasons to give:

There are so many great causes. Why does the African Library Project deserve your contribution?

  • They support literacy and fight poverty by giving eager readers the tools for learning.
  • They empower local people to run African libraries for Africans.
  • They are green – we keep hundreds of thousands of used books out of U.S. landfills and give them to people who need them most.
  • They are all-volunteer in labor, so your dollars go to essential supplies and services, not salaries and overhead.
  • They make the world smaller by providing U.S. book donors with a chance to personally make a difference for an African community.

Lastly I need to leave you with one more beautiful video from this incredible organization. It is so easy to help!!! We take our gently loved books and give them to someone who doesn’t have any books at all. I’m greatly inspired by this project because children are the givers and the receivers plus 100 % of donations go to building libraries.  In the upcoming weeks and months I’ll be updating the JIAB library project here and how you can get involved.

Share a book, and you change a life.

4 thoughts on “Read Around The Continents: The African Library Project

  1. I vaguely heard of this project so was glad for your post to really understand Africa’s illiteracy problems. I tweeted and pinned and would like to help too!

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