#GiveBackTuesday & 2020 Plans and needs

I cannot express how much we value everyone’s assistance in getting books into the hands of children. The spark in a child’s eye when they see the books is what drives us. We love to see how much a book can change a life. Literacy is essential for education and education is necessary to help get our kids out of poverty and create a better future for themselves, the country, the region and the world. We focus our efforts in Botswana, but we live in a truly global world now; and what is done in one place affects everyone.

Please give to Botswana Book Project today! All our activities are funded and carried out through donations, volunteer hours, grants, and a legacy. Follow us on FB for all our current and most up-to-date information.        DONATE TODAY!!!

Our plans for 2020 are very exciting. We must secure funding in order to achieve them. Some of the key activities we are planning on for 2020 include:
·         Receive and donate 100,000 early reader / novels (English) to schools – via Books for Africa
·         Obtain French books and donate (as requested by schools)
·         Obtain books and materials in Braille and donate (as requested by schools)
·         Obtain local stories and books in English, Setswana, and other local languages and donate
·         Launch the new branding, logo, and image of BBP
·         Work with out-of-school youth to build bookshelves and other furniture
·         Distribute more of the books directly to the recipients
·         Develop libraries / reading nooks in hospitals; especially children’s areas
·         Strengthen monitoring and evaluation activities; including site visits
·         Training activities (literacy & library management)
·         Further develop writing in the schools and publishing of the students work
·         New and updated website
·         Further develop partnerships with schools in US, Rotary International, and all our existing partners; finalize MoUs with all partners

Ideas are great; but can only be achieved with funding. All funds we are soliciting through our GoFundMe account are currently earmarked for the activities and needs that typically are not covered through grants or the funding received at Books for Africa on our behalf. These activities are still necessary critical to the running of BBP and include:
·         Rent for office / storage space (it takes time to process and get 550 boxes / 50,000 books distributed to schools),
·         stationary & marketing,
·         printing of materials and publishing of materials for schools (students stories),
·         website name and development
·         local payments of manual, customs clearance, and misc expenses
·         Launch of BBP

What do we need from you??
·         Donate now and often.
·         Share this appeal with all your friends, families and colleagues.
·         If your business has a grant system or social responsibility program, please share with them (or their contacts with me at [email redacted]
·         Contact us if you want to donate time or expertise in any area.

Thank you so very much for your support. Ke a leboga,
A. Malenya (RPCV Botswana 2007-2011)
Director, Botswana Book Project

Pam Shelton, a retired Librarian from Vermont, USA, traveled to Botswana in sub-Saharan Africa in 1997 where she immediately discovered the need for libraries and books. She established the Botswana Book Project (BBP) in Maun, Botswana in 1998 to answer the immediate library needs of Ngamiland District (the Okavango Delta region).

BBP is a solely volunteer-led project that freely donates books and literacy materials to schools, community libraries, and other institutions in Botswana. Since 1998, the Project has resulted in the creation of over 300 libraries and distribution of over 750,000 books and literacy materials throughout Botswana. BBP has proudly served as a catalyst for literacy and library development throughout Botswana for the past twenty years.

Some of our past recipients have included:
·         schools and school libraries (Pre/creche, primary, secondary, tertiary; government and private),
·         community libraries,
·         Botswana National Library Services Libraries,
·         prison libraries,
·         clinics,
·         individuals,
·         orphan and vulnerable children organizations (OVC) and home based-care programs, and
·         Non-governmental Organizations (including the Botswana Scouts Association, Stephen Ramabu Library Initiative, Stepping Stones, Step Up International, SOS Children’s Village, and more).


To help develop an educated and informed nation (Botswana) by providing donated books and literacy materials freely throughout Botswana to schools, community libraries, and other institutions.

To increase literacy and decrease book famine.

To assist schools and communities in creating libraries.

PARTNERS (US-based and local):
Books for Africa, based in Minnesota, USA, supplies Botswana Book Project with most of our books. They manage all the logistics for obtaining books, boxing, palletizing, and shipping the books from the U.S. to Botswana.

Personal donations of books are also accepted via Books for Africa and directly to Botswana. Kirkwood School District in Missouri, USA, has been a strong supporter of ours over the years, as well as the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Friends of the Library.

The Bourke Family Foundation, in California, USA, has partnered with Botswana Book Project since 2014.  to donate individual solar lights to students in Botswana. The Bourke Family Foundation donates individual solar lights to students in Botswana via BBP.  BBP covers all local costs and selects recipient schools with the assistance of the Botswana Ministry of Basic Education.

We have partnered with U.S. Peace Corps and their volunteers in Botswana for many of our donations, as they are well placed and are often working on literacy projects.

Rotary International - Tacoma Suncrise Rotary Club (Tacoma, WA, USA) & Francistown Rotary (Francistown, Botswana)

The Botswana Ministry of Sports, Youth, and Culture - Botswana National Library Services; The Botswana Scouts Association; The Stephen Ramabu Library Initiative; Botswana Prisons System; and others help get books into the hands of those who need them.

Those interested in receiving books send a written request on letterhead to Botswana Book Project stating their need and how they will utilize the donation. The BBP compiles and reviews all requests to determine the recipients, amount to be received, and level of book.

Books are differentiated as primary-level 1-4 (including creche/pre-primary), primary-level 5-8, secondary (high school), and tertiary. Most of our donations are at the primary and secondary levels, in the areas of early reading and fiction/leisure reading.

We aim to receive a shipment of books every year. The receipt of books is dependent upon BBP raising $15,000 for the shipping costs from USA to Botswana for each 40-foot container.

Solar lights are donated to Botswana Book Project by The Bourke Family Foundation. They cover the costs of the lights and shipment to the USA. BBP is responsible for identification of recipient schools / students, currently done in conjunction with the Ministry of Basic Education, as well as the delivery and donation of the lights at the selected schools.

When the shipping container is received, the Botswana Book Project volunteers contact all the recipients. We aim to get books to central locations (e.g., Gaborone, Ghanzi, Maun, and Francistown) and the recipients collect the books from these locations. We have a one-week timeframe for collection. We do all we can to assist with collection by connecting those in nearby communities, finding alternate means of delivery (e.g., Sprint Courier, University of Botswana truck, Peace Corps staff going on site visits), and delivery ourselves.

We follow-up with our recipients to ensure the books are unpacked and being utilized in a timely manner. We also request for recipients to send photos and letters of appreciation. These are shared with our donors and on our public platforms.  We work with the Ministry of Basic Education to follow-up on the evaluation of the solar lights and the impact they have on students and test scores.

We have secured funding for our next three shipments (40-foot container / 20 pallets) of books as well as have been informed of continuation of solar light donations. We will be receiving the following shipments over the next eighteen months:
·         Solar Lights, 5000 lights: February 2019
·         Book Container #1: August 2018
·         Book Container #2: March 2019
·         Book Container #3: August 2019

The Botswana Book Project is responsible for raising the funds for all expenses. These include stateside expenses and local (Botswana) expenses.

Stateside expenses are donated via Books for Africa and cover all the shipping costs for the 40-foot container from the USA to the port of Gaborone, Botswana. Money donated via Books for Africa cannot be used for local expenses.

Local expenses include (for each shipment):
·         customs and customs clearance,
·         VAT charges,
·         offloading (forklifts, manual labor),
·         delivery expenses for transporting of lights and books to recipients,
·         marketing, and
·         administration costs

Please help us continue to increase literacy projects and bring the joy of books and culture of reading to our beloved Botswana by sharing this post and donating today. 

Thank you so very much for your support. Ke a leboga,

Andrea Malenya, RPCV Botswana 2007-2011
Director, Botswana Book Project

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