Our Story

“New data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics show that 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. Sub-Saharan Africa has the single largest number – 202 million – of children and adolescents who are not learning. Across the region, nearly nine out of ten kids between the ages of about 6 and 14 are not gaining minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics.” ¹

¹ UNESCO
Also see WORLD BANK

Every year more than 13 millions books are sent to landfill in the UK.² At least, another 26 million books (26,000 tonnes) are recycled.³

² CODEP
³ Also see WORLD OF BOOKS

Mission

Our mission is to improve the quality of education in Africa through the provision of books and educational resources that enable students to acquire knowledge and achieve their full potential in a globalized world. We fulfil our mission with the generous support of donors, volunteers, sponsors and partners.

Sustainable

Our 80/20 fundraising model means we cover our overheads by trading up to 20% of donated books and resources via our online charity shop.

Cost-effective

Thanks to individual and corporate sponsors, 80% of donated books and resources are shipped to people across Africa at an average of 50p per book.

Transparent

Our Integrated Web App and Database tracks donated books from the donor to the receiver, with impact photos and reports published on our website.

Explore Our Journey

Books2Africa is a UK Registered Charity (1152599) that is committed to reducing environmental waste in the UK and improving the quality of education in Africa through the collection and distribution of books. Founded in 2012 by four African students during their time studying in the UK, the organisation now has Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Jan 2012
May 2013
Feb 2014
Nov 2015
May 2016
May 2017
Dec 2018
May 2019

Founded as a student volunteering society at the University of Kent

4 African students who came to study in the UK sat around a table after dinner at Beverley Farmhouse and Books2Africa was born. They collected more than 11,000 books in their first year and were nominated best new volunteering society at the Kent Union Awards that year.

Became a UK registered charity operating from a storage unit in Dover

After collecting 11,000 books in their student flat, it became a health and safety risk! They moved the books to a rented storage container at a discounted rate offered by A&S Self Storage in Dover. They also registered Books2Africa officially with the Charity’s Commission. 

First pallet shipment to College Al-Irfane in Morocco, funded by the college

Without adequate funding to ship books to Africa, we decided to ask institutions and projects in Africa who want books to fund their shipment if they can afford to. Soon after this, we were able to send our first pallet carrying 1,067 books.

First container shipment to Nigeria funded by Universal Channel Africa

Building up to the launch of Season 2 of its TV series “The Librarians”, Universal Channel Africa did a campaign in partnership with Books2Africa to raise funds and awareness for the charity. Funds raised were able to fund the shipment of 6 containers of books, all loaded by hand!

First distribution office in Africa opened in Jos Nigeria

With Northern Nigeria having some of the highest levels of illiteracy in Africa, it was considered the ideal location for Books2Africa’s first Distribution Office. Here workers will receive container shipments of books, display them in shelves for people to browse and select what they need. This also creates jobs and volunteering roles locally.

Moved to warehouse and achieved UN consultative status

The Lord Mayor of Canterbury Councillor Rosemary Doyle officially declared open Books2Africa’s new processing centre in Canterbury. She presented  awards to volunteers and to container shipment sponsors Ninety Foundation and Macmillan Education.

Opened more offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya

Following the success of our consolidated distribution model, new Distribution Offices were launched in West and East Africa. Our aim is to open more distribution offices in all four regions of Africa, situated primarily in coastal countries. ​

1 million books

Five years after our first shipment of books to Africa, on 4th May 2019 we shipped our 1 millionth book to Africa, part of a container shipment to Kalibu Academy High School and Primary School in Malawi. This milestone was celebrated with a #1MillionBooks2Africa event, a re-brand and launch of the 1 Million Book Club.

1 Million Books annually,
shipped in 50 Containers

Can your organisation commit to sponsoring at least 1 of these 50 containers annually? A commitment of £5,000 per container, covering the cost of processing, shipping and delivering 20,000 books to the hands of students and teachers across Africa. Your company logo will be listed on our Sponsors Wall below and on relevant impact report pages.

Board

The founding directors constitute the core team, three of whom continue to carry out extensive work for the charity and contribute to its development on a voluntary basis. The founding directors are also the trustees for the purposes of charity law.

Dr Tonson Sango

Director of Operations

Dr Precious N. Sango

Director of Education

Mr Chumang Sango

Director of IT

Mr Gideon Sango

Director of Marketing

Ambassadors

Amazing individuals who inspire us and use their image and influence to promote our cause to a wider audience in order to increase our impact.

Mellisa Myambo

Zimbabwean author, scholar and Caine Prize nominee

Catherine Inglehearn

HM Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea

Aarush Lala

Read 100 books in a year to raise money for Books2Africa

Staff and Volunteers

Our paid staff and volunteers (UK and International) are the engine that drive our organisation.

  • Sponsors Wall
Special thanks to the following amazing organisations

Shipping and delivering 1 million books every year
involves the following:

Volume
  • 20,000 books fit in 1 x 20ft container
  • 1,000,000 books fit in 50 x 20ft containers
  • 4 x 20ft containers shipped monthly
Costs
  • £5,000 to process, ship and clear each container of 20,000 books
  • £20,000 delivers 4 containers monthly
Fundraising Target
  • 2,000 individuals giving £10 or more monthly, or 50 corporate partners sponsoring 1 container per year. Thank you.

30%

Processing in the UK

30%

Freight from the UK

40%

Clearing and haulage in Africa

Books2Africa is a UK registered charity number 1152599