Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Worldly Wednesday: 1 Million Books for Gambia

Kayira Be and Nanga Def? 
(Peace be with you and How are you?)

Those who know me well know that I don’t like asking for help, so I’ll keep this letter brief.

Since 2003 I’ve been very involved in charity work in The Gambia, Africa’s smallest mainland country.  This year, I’ve had the great fortune to connect with Hand in Health and Books for Africa, two organizations running a campaign called 1 Million Books for Africa.  Together, they set up the country’s first 7,500-book medical library in 2010.

In February/March of 2012, I have been invited to travel with Hand in Health to The Gambia to help set up the next round of libraries with books generously donated by American individuals, schools, and companies.  My volunteer tasks will include transporting, shelving, and organizing a shipment of 22,000 books to placed in rural villages near Njau, Gambia. 

The six libraries I will help establish will be the first ever in the region.  As a former teacher in The Gambia, I can’t stress to you enough how books are a very real solution to battling low literacy rates.  In short, I really believe in this project.

For those of you who’ve traveled to such remote places, you know that the cost of travel is high.  My volunteer trip will once again be self-funded and will cost nearly $3000.  Although I have raised a small portion of the funds already, I’m still hoping that through your generosity I’ll be able to raise the remaining amount and fulfill my promise to volunteer with this project.

If you’d like to contribute to my personal travel expenses, you can send a check made out to me (email me for address), as Books for Africa and Hand in Health do not yet take donations earmarked for certain travelers/volunteers. You can also donate to my volunteer fund through PayPal online by clicking the donate button here:

If you’d like to contribute to the shipping and expenses for the library supplies, please visit: and make sure to click on The Gambia (1 Million Books for Gambia) so that the money will benefit the project I am volunteering for.  Funds donated directly to Books for Africa will not help cover my personal travel expenses, but your gift is tax-deductible and will go toward the overall library project in The Gambia.

Jerejef and Abaraka baake
(Thank you and thank you very much),

Miranda Paul

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