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 million 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)

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 board of trustees consist of founding and honorary members. The four founding directors are members of the same family, and founded the charity during their time studying as international students at universities in the UK.  The founding directors together with appointed honorary trustees ensure the charity is governed and achieving its aims and objectives while staying true to the vision of the founders. All trustees carry out extensive work for the charity and contribute to its development.

Dr Tonson Sango

Founding Trustee &
Executive Director of Operations

Dr Precious N. Sango

Founding Trustee &
Director of Education

Mr Chumang Sango

Founding Trustee &
Director of IT

Mr Gideon Sango

Founding Trustee &
Director of Marketing

Ms Arshita Nandan

Honorary Trustee

Ms Alexandra Kieffer

Honorary Trustee

Processing Team

Our enthusiastic team of change makers are at the heart of the charity’s UK processing centre, supporting key aspects of our operations. 

Charlie Welch

Logistics Supervisor

Rachel Allen

Sales Supervisor

Brenda Read

Rare Books Supervisor

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.

Melissa Myambo

Zimbabwean author, scholar and Caine Prize nominee

Catherine Inglehearn

HM Ambassador to the Republic of Niger

Aarush Lala

Read 100 books in a year to raise money for Books2Africa

Sérgio Fernandes

Supply Chain Development Manager with over 20 years' experience in book publishing

  • Sponsors Wall
Special thanks to the following amazing organisations
Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates

A quick update about what Books2Africa is doing in response to these uncertain times caused by the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and supporters. Key to this is following government recommendations closely. Thankfully no suspected cases of COVID-19 have been reported amongst our staff and volunteers. Our Processing Centre in Canterbury is still operational and well stocked with the enough books and resources to ship to Africa.

Please read our updates below on steps taken to minimise the risk to staff, volunteers and supporters.

  • Public Book Collections Suspended: Effective today, we are suspending our collection service for book donations by members of the public in the UK. Although this will affect our book donation numbers, it would reduce the workload on our paid staff who continue to work during this difficult period to ensure the charity remains operational. This will be reviewed at the end of Easter on 14th April 2020.

  • Warehouse Volunteering Suspended: Effective today, we are suspending all volunteering work at the Processing Centre in Canterbury. This means all our UK and International Volunteers are no longer allowed to come into the Canterbury site. Although this will affect our processing and sorting capacity, it makes it easier for us to enforce government advise on social distancing and minimise the risk to paid staff who continue to work normal hours, ensuring our charity shop remains operational and shipments to Africa are dispatched. This will be reviewed at the end of Easter on 14th April 2020.

  • Online Volunteering: During this suspension of warehouse volunteering, we will be assigning all our volunteers to our Education Team to work on a variety of fundraising tasks online. To this end, all our International Volunteers are required to attend an online Skype meeting with our Director of Education on Wednesday 25th March at 9:30 am. UK volunteers who would like to join in can also email [email protected] to indicate their interest in order to receive further instructions on joining the meeting.

 

 
Finally a word of encouragement – Do not be afraid, stay safe and continue to have faith that this will soon pass. 
  • The strictest hygiene standards are being followed at our Processing Centre, with hand sanitisers, disinfectant sprays, plastic gloves and posters reminding staff, volunteers and supporters to wash their hands regularly and wipe their work surfaces.

 

  • No contact deliveries: Couriers delivering boxes to the Processing Centre will no longer require you to sign by hand on delivery. Rather, they are advised to enter your initials.

 

  • Drop-offs and tours suspended: From next week, drop-off appointments by members of the public will be suspended until further notice. Until then, staff and volunteers are advised to receive deliveries without contact and avoid giving members of the public tours of the Processing Centre.

 

We appreciate your understanding as the situation evolves and reassure you that we will take necessary steps to ensure your safety whilst trying to also fulfil our charitable objectives. If you need any support or advice, you can send us an email [email protected]

Thank you for your continued support and do subscribe to our coronavirus updates if you want to be remain updated.
Books2Africa UK Team

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