our mission

The African Library Project changes lives, book by book, together with partners in Africa and North American volunteers, to create, improve, and sustain libraries in African communities.

African Student giving Thumbs up

four+ million donated books

Our grassroots approach mobilizes volunteers in North America to collect and donate gently used books and an international network of partners in Africa. We work in English-speaking countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that have a significant need for books with partners who can meet our criteria for sustainable library development. ALP’s book drive approach allows North Americans the ability to share their love for reading by providing books to fellow learners that do not have the same access to children’s books.

partnering organizations

We are proud to partner with local African-based organizations that are dedicated to promoting literacy and library development in Sub-Saharan Africa. These trusted organizations provide librarian-teacher training among many other activities that support library growth. The African Library Project is currently partnered with 13 organizations in seven Sub-Saharan African countries.

Give with Confidence

For African Library Project’s latest annual financials please click here.  The African Library Project is proud to be a four-star rated organization with Charity Navigator and a platinum rated organization with GuideStar. 

alp’s impact

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The African Library Project (ALP) has created and improved over 3,000 small libraries across 13 countries in Sub Saharan Africa. We are currently active in Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Uganda, Malawi, and Kenya (left-to-right from the map, yellow highlighted countries). Through our established partnerships with local organizations and volunteers in North America, we create, improve, and sustain 200+ new small libraries every year.

alp’s story

It all started in 2004, when a family from Northen California visited the beautiful mountains of Lesotho, a country in southern Africa, landlocked by South Africa. 

Alp Team

Anu Kulkarni

Board Chair

Anu came to ALP through an extremely rewarding book drive led by a group of 3rd grade girls at her daughter’s school. She is a political scientist at Stanford University, specializing in the study of post-conflict development, democratization, and human rights. She has conducted research in sub-Saharan Africa for the past 20 years and is familiar with the type of communities where ALP creates libraries.

Marla Williams

Secretary

Marla sees African Library Project as a meaningful way to merge a lifelong love of books with the opportunity to bring literary freedom to children who may not otherwise have access. Having launched a book drive program at her daughter’s K-8 school years ago, Marla witnessed firsthand the magic of bringing together youth and books. She’s a co-founder and former board member of ACE Kids Golf that focuses on at-risk Oakland youth.

Doug Verbosky

Treasurer

Joash S. Aminga

Board Member

Joash has over 30+ years of experience in Library and Information Services. He serves as a Deputy Director, Library Services and Vice Chairman of the Association of Government Librarians in Kenya. Joash has continuously supported rural communities in knowledge sharing initiatives. He has a BSc degree in Information Management, a Masters of Philosophy, and is currently pursuing a PhD with Kisii University in Library and Information Sciences.

Craig Anderson

Board Member & South Africa Liaison

Craig’s African journey began as a Peace Corps teacher in Lesotho. He stayed, working on education projects. Later, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service. He spent 36 years in Africa. After retirement, a book drive fell in his lap. Knowing books expand horizons, he shipped a container load to his South African home. Serendipity struck! As he promoted literacy in the community, he met an ALP board member. She invited him to join ALP’s Book Summit in Lesotho. He’s hooked!

Jennifer Anderson-Ochoa

Board Member

With a Master’s in International Administration, Jennifer lived in South Africa and Lesotho, and worked in HIV/AIDS prevention and children’s support in South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Currently, she works with community-based programs and government agencies, evaluating their work and assessing community conditions with an equity lens. As the daughter of a librarian, and the mother of a Mosotho-American, she looks forward to honoring both by contributing to the African Library Project.

Sindy Braun

Board Member

Sindy grew up in South Africa and immigrated to the USA in 1991. Her local US library, so much better, was both her “safe space” and a key resource for settling in her new home. Recognizing the ability for books and libraries to change lives, Sindy hopes to bring her 30+ years business experience and love of reading to scale ALP’s mission and create more libraries across Africa.

Louis Lallia

Board Member

Holder of a B.A. in Modern Literature (Université de la Sorbonne-Nouvelle), Louis is an Alumni of l’Institut des Etudes Politiques de Paris from which he holds an M.A in Finance and Strategy. He joined AXYS in 2012, and spearheaded AXYS Group’s international development. In April 2019, he was appointed Managing Director of AXYS Private. He now occupies the position of Managing Director, Head of Client Coverage and Sustainability.

Kamala Madavarapu

Board Member

Kamala is a Data Modeling expert at Citibank with a passion to derive actionable insights from huge volumes of data. She grew up in India with a deep interest to spread the value of literacy across the globe and believes "Education is a basic human right". She is extremely motivated by ALP's commitment to serve the African communities and it's profound impact by nurturing the young minds.

Lebogang Mashaba

Board Member

Lebo is an experienced Human Capital Development Specialist with 20+ years of expertise in fostering growth and cultivating leadership skills. She holds a Master's in Business Administration (MBA), a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management, and a range of certifications including Professional Director, Assessor, Moderator, and Skills Development Facilitator. She is passionate about education, youth development, and building startup ecosystems to reduce unemployment and empower women.

Kevin Morgan

Board Member

Kevin’s background is developing corporate marketing for global brands. Twenty years ago he started to volunteer his time in literacy education and eventually served as the President & CEO of ProLiteracy, an international nonprofit organization, for nine years. He believes that the foundation of positive social impact is achieved through increasing literacy rates and is passionate about ALP’s missions of changing lives, book by book.

Harry Nachnani

Board Member

Harry is a high-tech professional at Google, with passion in bringing global teams together to improve user & advertiser experience. Growing up in India, he saw first hand how even a small increase in literacy rate can go a long way in reducing unemployment and poverty. He is very passionate about ALP’s mission of changing lives through literacy in Africa and wants to help them scale to more libraries in more countries.

Nontuthuzelo Nikiwe

Board Member

Nontuthuzelo is a Stakeholder Engagement and Reporting Specialist at a State-owned company in South Africa. She has been the key player in developing systemic social development and innovation around community practice and systemic change; strategic development and the implementation of social impact programmes across South Africa with community-specific solutions design and practices. She is an avid reader and is passionate about literacy and education for young people.

Lauren Small

Interim Executive Director

Lauren has worked with organizations for 10+ years and her primary expertise lies in organizational governance, and marketing and communications. She graduated with a bachelor’s in business, specializing in marketing from Hofstra University. As an avid reader, Lauren understands the power and importance of reading a good book and loves that African Library Project is bridging a gap for too many in Africa without the proper library resources.

Julie Freeman

Operations Director & Kenya Liaison

Julie is a lifelong book lover and reader with an interest in Africa. Julie has extensive experience as a communicator and a non-profit executive, including her last full-time role as staff President of the International Association of Business Communicators. Now Julie works on occasional consulting assignments, which gives her time for volunteering and reading with her grandchildren.

Chris Bradshaw

Founder and Malawi Liaison

Chris Noel Bradshaw spent her junior year at Fourah Bay College, part of the University of Sierra Leone, studying African religion, law, and literature. She traveled through western and central Africa, acquainting herself with African traditions. In 2004, Chris was inspired to start African Library Project while visiting Lesotho.

Alice Valentine

Container Manager & Botswana Liaison

Alice is a former elementary school teacher who loves children, books, education, Africa, and recycling - so volunteering for ALP is a perfect match! She has had the privilege of traveling to many countries and through various organizations has helped to provide teachers with training and materials, and children with books and school resources.

Claire Hubel

Container Manager

After experiencing the magic that happens when children and books meet, Claire was thrilled to be introduced to the African Library Project by her daughter Mae and her high school Leo Club. Before earning a MS Teaching Credential at Notre Dame de Namur University, Claire graduated with a BA Hons from Oxford University.

Pamela Bostelmann

Container Manager and Ghana Liaison

Pamela’s passion for Africa led to two English Language Fellow assignments: teaching at the Ministry of Justice (Asmara, Eritrea) and the University of Burundi and its Institute of Applied Pedagogy (Bujumbura). She attended Bennington College, graduated from Columbia University, and earned an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from San Francisco State University.

Tracy Gaestel

Container Manager & Uganda Liaison

Tracy, a teacher, reading specialist and librarian came to love Africa after being asked to work with teachers there. ALP was a great match when she was looking for ways to help schools in Africa get books for their students. She is thrilled to work with an organization that works to improve literacy by putting books into the hands of students.

Kara Howard

Lesotho Liaison

Pictured here organizing ALP donated books as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, Kara believes passionately in every child's right to read! With experience as a classroom teacher in four countries, she currently manages a project working to provide teachers globally with access to high quality professional development opportunities. As a proud book lover, she is excited to play a small part in offering more people the opportunity to love them too!

Nancy Beth Garrett

Container Manager