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Libraries for Africa
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of CBS News San Francisco Affiliate

CBS News San Francisco Affiliate, July 12, 2006
Posted: April 12th, 2007

An industrious group of sixth graders is packing box after box with books ... all headed to Africa, for children whose educational experience is worlds apart. Student Emily Moreton says, "I've learned that a lot of kids in Africa don't have a lot of books to read." Classmate Josh Totte adds, "The places they learn -- they don't all have buildings. Sometimes they just gather around a tree." Two years ago, [Chris Bradshaw] and her family took a vacation to Africa. That's when the African Library Project was born. "I asked them if they had ever thought about having a library and they said, 'we've always wanted a library, but we didn't know how to make it happen,'" she explains. Now her all-volunteer network partners with schools and organizations that handle the collecting and shipping. In Africa, Peace Corps volunteers help identify communities interested in sustaining a library, then work with local officials to set them up with books shipped from the U.S. So far, the African Library Project has completed work on 29 libraries. Twenty more are under development. Twenty thousand books have been donated by fourteen American schools. And countless lessons are learned each day on both sides. "There are many, many places that are poor, but Africa is getting poorer," says Chris. "It's poorer now than it was 25 years ago and it's the only place in the world that is like that." She believes books provide the tools for change. Her dream is to one day provide books written in native African languages... a chapter she'll write when there's more money. "I got sick of feeling overwhelmed," she says. "I wanted to dig in and do it and this was something I could do and I know it's making a huge difference."

Note: For more on this most inspiring project, see their website at

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