It was an honor—and a great joy—to attend Harambee, the African Library Project‘s party and fundraiser event that happened this past Saturday in Menlo Park, CA in celebration of the project’s 5th anniversary.
The very well-attended evening of wonderful African food, music and dance included many highlights, such as founder Chris Bradshaw‘s speech about the project’s mission and accomplishments as well as the work still ahead (they have built over 500 libraries to date, in different countries in Africa, and hope to build countless more). Also inspiring were the testimonials from an African woman about what it was like to grow up in Rwanda without books, and from Becky Banton, from the African Library Project in Lesotho, who told us about the direct impact of ALP libraries in the lives of the children she has come to know and love. She told us, among other things, about one girl who has just started college: the same girl featured in one of the videos they showed in the beginning of the evening reading at her ALP school library (some years ago) and saying she would like to be able to go to college one day.
The evening also included the awarding of three Compassion Award plaques in recognition of individuals, one of them a 13-year-old boy, who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to help ALP build libraries and promote literacy in Africa.
Congratulations to Chris Bradshaw and to all who helped organize such an inspiring evening. We wish you continued success in your efforts to promote literacy and give children in rural areas of Africa a chance of a better life.