African Library Project

The Stories We Tell: Our Blog

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Mira Wadehra1That is one piece of advice that Mira Wadehra has for anyone thinking about doing a book drive. The 16-year-old living in Cupertino, CA, has walked her talk. She organized her first book drive the summer of 2014 when she was an incoming high school freshman.  Three years later, she has started collecting books for her third book drive.

Mira believes, “You will feel very accomplished.  Knowing that you are helping feels really good.”

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From 2008 to 2010, Victor Cuevas served in the Peace Corps in Lesotho. While he was there, he set his hut up with several dozen books.  He invited children to come to the hut and told them, “This is a book.”  Then he taught them about borrowing.  Some stayed to read.  The joy in their faces fueled his fire to start a bigger library.

Aware of the need for books and libraries, he worked with ALP to create a library in Lesotho while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer.  When the first shipment of books was delivered for a library, he could see how excited the children were as they clutched the books.

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Boxes loaded in Van 11Vikram Ruppa-Kasani says that he has always liked books.  As he got older and he learned about people in the rest of the world, he wanted to give kids the same experience that he had had.  So, at age 16, he led his Eagle Scout troop in Alpharetta, GA to do a book drive.

“I live in a helping community, and we want to promote literacy,” he explained

Dublin CoffmanAs a lawyer and library technical aide at Dublin Coffman High School in Dublin, Ohio, I have a special place in my heart for books and libraries. I often read six books at a time.  I know that a love of books--of holding a book, turning its pages, looking at its pictures, experiencing new ideas and losing oneself in its wonderful stories--goes hand in hand with a love of learning. 

At the same time, libraries provide a place for gathering and building a sense of community.  A library provides information and educational opportunities for all people regardless of their economic status. Students and teachers can find each other there, make friends, and discuss ideas.