Speaking of Books…


TTimes are good now, and when I want to read a few book, I can go out and buy new ones without breaking the bank. But growing up as a kid, while I was blessed to have a lot of loving, but there wasn’t much money to speak of. Poor as church mice we were. We ate well on the cheap because both my parents were resourceful in stretching out a dollar but there were no newfangled toys of fancy clothes, impressive electronics or even a car to be had. One thing that was always part of the general décor were books. They tended to cover most available surfaces. This had much to do with the fact that my mother read like she breathed, and also that used books could always be obtained for next to nothing, when they weren’t available for free at the local public library. I know I’m not the only one to have been raised in such a household. When money is sparse, reading offers the possibility of hours of escape, entertainment, time and space travel, and a built-in knowledge delivery system. All of this I, and millions of adults and children around the world have long taken for granted. But no so for all children:

“Not long ago I was telephoned by a friend who said she had been in Zimbabwe, in a village where they had not eaten for three days, but they were talking about books and how to get them, about education.” ~From Doris Lessing’s Nobel speech.

It would seem the scarcity of books is a widespread problem in Africa. Of course, we all know there are many other seemingly bigger problems in Africa, but books are a tool which can help bring relief in ways that food, clothes and medicine — while all essential — can’t. These children simply cannot be educated without them.

One of my dear blog friends Lori Weitzel inspired by Doris Lessing’s Nobel speech (a great read — I highly recommend it) decided to try to make a difference and created a fundrasing campaign to help send books to African children. She called this campaign Books Will Fly Through the Air, and the goal is to send the Fray Luis Primary School — and the local educators in Tanzania — the books needed to educate the children. It’s a cause that means a lot to me.

To facilitate the campaign, and after much research, Lori chose the services of Fist Giving, a third party organizations which collects donations online in just a few quick steps and then forwards the funds to the chosen organization. Our goal of $ 2, 000 which can buy a lot of books and will help make a real difference in that community. There are several simple ways you can help. Firstly you can access the fundraising page right here, to make a donation (as small or as large as you like). If you choose this option you are also encouraged to leave a haiku in the comment section, so that the children will receive both the gift of the books and your own poems about books too.

If you aren’t quite ready to make a donation yet, you can add a link to the fundraising page you can display the widget you see on this post (and in my sidebar), or write your own post to help increase awareness. In any case, feel free to copy, borrow or steal any part of this post, including the lovely collage which took me hours to put together (if you do so, please be sure to include the credits and links to the photographers). The point is to let as many people as possible know about this project. If each of us (that means you) does a small part, it’ll be a cinch to collect just two thousand dollars so that “Books will fly through the air for children”.


Photocollage by Smiler. Pics taken from Flickr and posted by: Babasteve, peo pea and hdptcar for a photo by Pierre Holz for Unicef. Photos taken in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique.

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