Rwanda Book Drive Project

WHAT IS THE RWANDA BOOK DRIVE PROJECT?
The Rwanda Book Drive Project is an initiative to support education in Rwanda through donation of new and used books that will be donated to schools in Rwanda.

Rwanda is commemorating the 15th Anniversary of the genocide that devastated the country in April 1994. In commemoration of this tragic part of Rwandan history , a team of volunteers friends of Rwanda and the Rwandan Diaspora in New York is organizing a Book Drive Project to support education of children and adults in the country.

BACKGROUND
The educations system and infrastructure was among the sectors that were devastated by the genocide. The country has made tremendous recovery over the last years. The education sector has been one the most growing sectors of the Rwandan economy. With the introduction fee free primary education in 2005, the enrollment rate in primary and secondary school increased tremendously. This has put a lot of pressure on existing infrastructure with crowded classrooms (over 70 students per classrooms) and worsened student-teacher ratio. The quality of education has also been affected tremendously by lack of books and scholastic materials in almost all schools in the country. Although government has invested siginificantly in educatin to address these challenges and improve the quality of education, much more support is needed.

This book drive initiative is an attempt to make a modest contribution in support of education in Rwanda. The need for books in English in Rwanda has become even more urgent as the country has joined the East African Community (a regional body that uses English as the official language for business and training). In order to reap the full benefit of its integration into the EAC, Rwanda recently adopted English as a medium of instruction in all schools. There is need for a massive campaign to mobilize any sort of text books and reading material as there are not any significant amount of English reading material in Rwanda to talk of.

OBJECTIVES OF THE RWANDA BOOK DRIVE
The objective is to collect recent books (new or used books in good condition) which include text books of major subjects (mathematics, English, sciences – physics, chemistry, biology, etc, novels, reading materials for children and adults, , self-improvement books, reading and writing materials, and other forms of scholastic material that can be used in schools. We are collecting books and material that can be used in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities.

Our target is to gather enough books to fill a 40’ container , We are targeting to collect these books from various sources in the USA : public libraries, schools, publishing companies and from individuals who are willing to donate books that they don’t need.

COLLECTION AND STORAGE
The books will be collected by volunteers from identified locations around New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. Mini storage facilities will be identified in the different places. The Book Drive Project Team is in the process of identifying a main storage facility in a location that will facilitate collection and shipping.

DISTRIBUTION OF THE BOOKS
A team of volunteers in Rwanda mainly composed of University Students will work with local organizations to facilitate distribution of the books to identified schools. The books will benefit primary schools and secondary schools and the National University of Rwanda in Huye district, 140 Kilomenters South of the Rwanda Capital City, Kigali.

FINANCING OF THE PROJECT
This book drive is a purely charity and volunteer initiative. The major cost of the project is storage and shipping the books to Rwanda at an estimated cost of US$ 12, 000. We will need to mobilize sufficient volunteers to manage the book drive to minimize costs. To cover the cost of storage and shipping, the Book Drive Team will organize a fundraising event in May with an aim of raising the required financing. We will also raise funding from donors and friends of Rwanda.

The Book Drive Project Collection will run from April 1st, 2009 through May 15, 2009.

GET INVOLVED
We need and value your support tremendously. You can get involved in any of the following activities:
Volunteering for the book drive to support the collection of books
Donating books
Reaching out to potential donors
Providing mini storage facilities or collection points – it could be your basement
Picking books from mini collection centres and delivering them to the main storage facility
Donating or participating in a fundraising event to raise financing for storage and shipping.

Contact persons
Claire Umubyeyi: claire.umubyeyi@yahoo.com; Telephone: 1 646 5521037
Chantal Kayitesi: chantalkayitesi@aol.com; Telephone: 1 781 7772505

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