Book Drive for Kibwezi, Kenya

Pile of Boxes of Books.jpgBook Unloading.jpg

The Problem

The efforts of this endevour benefit the entire village of Kibwezi, particularly the AIDS orphans that attend the primary schools there. Our shipment of over 20,000 books led Philip Kaloki, the MP of the Kibwezi District of Kenya, to construct the first functioning public library in Kibwezi. The Kibwezi Community Library is scheduled to be built by February 2009.

Plan of Action

Education can help people help themsleves. In pen pal letters from primary school students in Kibwezi, Awareness to Action learned that there was not a single library in the whole village. Many children asked for lots of books, particularly novels. Club members then decided to collect used books and reading glasses for them. The goal was to raise approximately 20,000 books. Because of the large scale of the book drive and the club's small size (of 6 members), this project required a lot of collaboration within Westivew HS and the neighboring community. First, club members contacted the Hillsboro Rotary Club who provided preliminary advice and insight since they had completed several book drive projects before. Securing transportation for the collected materials was very expensive and a large portion of club funds was diverted to this purpose (although Nomad Charities picked up the majority of the tab). Westview school administration approved the project and with the support of the custodial staff, arranged storage space to store and pack the books into boxes. The next step was to collect books. Club members distributed brown paper donation bags in neighborhoods and came back at the end of the week to pick up any donated books or reading glasses. This went on every week for about one and a half months. Additionally, other schools in the Beaverton School district donated old textbooks and other reading materials as well. In the end A2A raised over 40,000+ books, more than double the targeted amount. While books came in, club members began packing books into old yearbook boxes and apple crates until every book was packed and ready to ship into the container. The custodians shrinkwrapped the pallets of books and on June 26th, 2008 the books were loaded into the container and set off for Kenya. We just heard from Nomad Charities and the books have finally been delivered to the community of Kibwezi.

Project Updates

This just in: the books have finally reached Kibwezi

Westview High School's club Awareness To Action collected over 18,000 books to support the first community library within the entire district of Kibwezi. With land donated by the locals and the local government MP paying for the construction costs, the new library should be completed in the spring of 2009. Thanks to everyone who helped with this amazing project.

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