Book Donation Programme

Books2Africa’s Book Donation Programme is the charity’s key strategy for delivering its aim of improving the quality of education for people in Africa. This strategy is anchored upon our ideals captured in the acronym EDUCATION

EDUCATION

  • Experience / Great things take time to achieve
  • Dedication / Anything is possible if you devote your time and energy
  • Understanding / Gain knowledge by seeking truth
  • Courage / Stand up for what you believe
  • Action / Learn by doing
  • Tenacity / Never give up
  • Intelligence / Your mind is your greatest weapon
  • Observation / Expose yourself to the perspectives and realities of others
  • Nurturing / Pass on your knowledge and experiences to the next generation

Frequently Asked Questions

Books immediately improve the quality of teaching and learning especially within poor learning environments with no access to electricity or internet. However, Books2Africa also collects and distributes donations of other educational materials e.g. computers, sports gear and toys to achieve our core charitable objectives – educating people, helping the environment.

Yes. Most of the Science and Social Science subjects are universal and not culture specific. Books2Africa’s mission is to equip African students with educational materials that enable them to be competitive and help them achieve their full potential in a globalised world. As such, we believe not exposing Africans to Shakespeare for example is limiting their potential. At the same time, we recognise the need to encourage African scholarship. As such, we promote books by African authors via our Books2Africa Press programme.

Unlike most other charities, our book distribution model is demand driven. This means we provide books to people and projects/institutions who approach us via our website or at our distribution offices in . When applying for books online, individuals and institutions in Africa can specify the academic level, subject and quantity of books they require and our team of volunteers select relevant books to match their request. By opening more Books2Africa Distribution Offices in Africa, people who need books in Africa can walk in, browse and select the books they want. In our experience, both new and used books are equally desirable and useful.

Clearing shipments through customs across different African countries can be challenging. Over the years, we have built an excellent track record of shipping, clearing and delivering books across 20 African countries. We have worked with many reputable shipping lines (including DSV, MSC and Maersk) and have developed strong partnerships with project coordinators and local organisations in Africa who ensure our shipments are cleared quickly, and books are delivered to the hands of students and teachers.

As a charity, we aim to be sustainable by adapting a social enterprise model to fund our overhead costs. This means 100% of donated funds can go towards funding shipments and other charitable programmes. To prevent a scenario where a majority of donated books are sold instead of being shipped to Africa, we have self-imposed a limit of 20% based on the Pareto Principle. In fact, we have only managed to sell 5% of donated books in any year since the charity was established. Despite being good books, most of the donated books we receive have little monetary value in the UK market and therefore cannot be sold.

Supplementary
Programmes

Books2Africa
On Air

Books2Africa On Air is a series of video and audio interviews and discussions with authors, academics, experts, entrepreneurs and everyday people who have a passion for Africa and who support the work of Books2Africa. Each episode focuses on a problem and highlights potential solutions.

Books2Africa
Press

Books2Africa Press celebrates and encourages African scholarship by publishing and promoting works and manuscripts by African authors as well as books that are inspired by Africa or have a particular thematic or subjective focus on any aspect of Africa. Download our brochure to get more information.

Books2Africa
TechVillage

Books2Africa TechVillage aims to develop IT and Entrepreneurship skills, and  transform classrooms in rural schools by connecting them to the power of technology. Teachers and students can browse our inventory of computers, laptops, projectors, tablets and request online. Processing and shipping fee applicable.

Books2Africa
SchoolFix

Books2Africa SchoolFix aims to improve accessibility and quality of the learning environment by renovating existing schools in rural areas with a primary focus on improving health and safety, accessibility for the disabled and overall student satisfaction.

Books2Africa
GameTime

Books2Africa GameTime aims to help young people develop their talent and/or interest in sport and explore it’s potential career paths by providing sports equipment and hosting sports competitions withing rural communities in Africa.

Books2Africa
Ambassadors Network

Books2Africa Ambassadors Network (BNET) is a network of change makers who contribute to the charity’s work or have made an impact in the area of education in Africa.  Members enjoy access to exclusive content and get to represent the charity at events.

Funding our programmes

We welcome enquiries from partners who can fund projects and initiatives that fit into any of the above programmes. Contact us if you would like to become a partner or submit a joint funding application to DFID or other funding 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