The Well-Being Journal

Colleagues Care: Books for Africa

Jennifer Rudloff

Have you ever wondered what to do with all the books you have been collecting, especially from college? I wondered the same thing about 4 years ago when I went through my bookshelf during the spring-cleaning that we all love to accomplish yearly. In the process, I not only discovered multiple books from college where the school changed books every semester (leaving it up to me to keep it or sell it online with a huge loss), but I also found books I purchased for personal knowledge accumulating dust. Yikes!!!

At that moment I decided to send some of my college books to Ethiopia where the second edition of Microbiology is being used in most universities while outdated in United States due to newer released editions. I reached out to some individuals who were traveling to Ethiopia to take books with them, but it was difficult since there is a luggage weight limit. At the same time, sending two to three books at a time and locating a traveler became a challenge of its own. At some point, I even checked out international shipping prices but I found it to be too expensive. After couple of searches and conversations, I connected with a friend who has heard about an organization named Books For Africa; also known as BFA.

I immediately started looking up this organization and learned that they are a perfect destination for my “outdated” books. Incredibly, this organization actually collects, sorts, ships and distributes books in Africa. BFA has shipped over 1.9 million books to 21 African countries in 2011 and has shipped 24 million high-quality text and library books in 45 countries since 1988.

In 2007, I joined to support them in collecting and shipping any and all books that I can get my hands on to their warehouse in Georgia for BFA’s shipment to Africa. So if you are like me and have wondered or are wondering what to do with books, check out their website. You will create some extra space on your shelf, provide access to education for a long-term sustainable solution in Africa, and improve your well-being in the process.

Topics: Healthy Living Community Books for Africa Donate Community Service Education