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Rotary Books for the World
Category: Literacy | By RotaryGlobal, 1-Nov-2011 | Viewed 4112  Comments 0 | Original Source

USA and Southern African Rotarians are answering literacy needs

We often think in the context of our lives in the USA and assume that everyone else is living as we do. Several Texas Rotary districts undertook a project to collect books and ship them to where they were needed in 2001. The project touches the great need for literacy in Southern Africa. The project started from a few Rotary districts to Rotary District 9300 in South Africa and now has spread across the USA and throughout Southern Africa.

In 2001, District 9300 had developed a model operation that solved many of the problems of donated material transfer and distribution. Rotary Clubs in the United States now have a seven year history with the project and can affirm that the Rotary District 9300 model works well and is worthy of replication in other locales. With the emphasis on literacy in Rotary, our Rotary Books for the World project is an easy and natural service project for clubs to adopt around the world.

We are continuing strong support to the District 9300 efforts in Southern Africa because many of the Southern African countries are relatively new countries. Their economies are struggling to absorb over 10 million refugees from the north. The South African Rotarians are trying to help not only the schools in South Africa but to assist areas of great need in southern and eastern Africa. The Books for the World Project has distributed books to qualified institutions for over a decade now. More than 6 million books have been distributed.

Why is there such a demand for books? The governments of southern Africa can not yet underwrite the costs of all the books needed for the rapidly growing public and private school systems. Many countries in Africa do not offer public education to all their youth. Poverty rules in these countries. Without educating their youth, they will not be able to grow a work force that can feed their people and poverty will continue to rule. Where poverty rules hate also rules. The Rotary Clubs in the USA and South Africa are addressing the needs of the impoverished schools and libraries for books and other educational materials which assist both our literacy and peace initiatives.

Imagine trying to teach without any books for yourself or your students. Rotary District 9300 personnel have actually been asked to cut books in half so that two students could have something to read. Rotary's response has been to supply a complete book to every child. In the USA, many schools shred a book when it is out of adoption or discard them in a landfill. The books can be obtained without charge from educational institutions, libraries, and private collections. By participating in this program your Rotary Club can make a difference for your schools by relieving their book storage, transportation and destruction costs.

Literacy Rotarian Action Group

Books for the World works with the support of and in support of the Literacy Rotarian Action Group. For information on LITRAG, you can visit their website at http://www.litrag.net/. ; This mission of the Literacy Rotarian Action Group is:

"To Increase general awareness of the severity of illiteracy throughout the world; its effect on the quality of the lives of individuals, families, communities and nations from generation to generation. To increase awareness among Rotarians, Rotary clubs and Rotary districts of ways in which they can help to reduce the extent and impact of illiteracy both locally and internationally. To assist Rotarians, Rotary clubs and Rotary districts to increase the scale and effectiveness of their participation in the alleviation of illiteracy its consequences, so supporting pursuit of the Object of Rotary."

For more information on Rotary Books for the World, visit our website:
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