|Uganda Book Distribution Program: Our Recent Work in Education|
Update: Africa Development Corps Distributes 420 Boxes of Books to Ugandan Schools
In just over one month Africa Development Corps in Gulu, Uganda gave out 420 boxes of academic and leisure reading books to 23 organizations. The books were generously provided by Books For Africa with the support of USAID’s Ocean Freight Reimbursement Program. ADC’s book distribution project in Uganda has been ongoing since 2009, and in that time ADC distributed five shipping containers of books to schools and community organizations in Gulu, Kitgum, Amuru, Pader, and Masindi districts. Each shipping container contained approximately 24,000 books, which were then distributed to partner organizations and schools. This involved sorting the books from each large shipping container into categories based on subject matter and grade level.
The books were then packaged for each school in labeled boxes, and upon arrival each book was individually stamped with a donor stamp displaying the VIA, Books for Africa, and USAID logos and a message instructing that “this book is to be read frequently by students and teachers to enhance their knowledge and understanding.” Each primary school received 500 books, while each secondary school received 2000 books. The subjects covered in Primary and Secondary level books included English Language, Math, Science, and Social Studies, as well as leisure reading and general reference materials such as encyclopedias. Advanced books such as Law references and books on Medicine and Psychology were also distributed to community organizations and post-secondary institutions where they would receive the most use.
This past month ADC distributed over half of the sixth container, which once emptied will bring the total number of books distributed by ADC in Uganda to 144,000. In past years, ADC has worked with Invisible Children, War Child (Holland), the Windle Trust, SOS Children’s Villages and many smaller local NGOs to distribute the books.
This year the number of participant organizations increased, reaching further into the local Acholi communities through cultural organizations, literacy programs, vocational training centers, mobile libraries, and schools. For many this was their first time participating in the program, and the organizations gladly formed volunteer teams to stamp each book with a donor stamp before arranging for transport. Okello Quinto of Gulu Theatre Artists Company Limited enthused:
“Bas[ed] on the fact that Gulu Theatre Artists Company limited (GUTA) is a legally registered cultural organization intending not only to promote, preserve, safeguard and market the beautiful culture of Acholi but also to assist and guide the children, youth and school dropout, child mothers, former child soldiers and women by providing health education, literacy through not only formal and informal education but also with the involvement of play therapy, I am glad to bring to your attention that we have received with great pleasure from [Africa Development Corps] [a] donation of scholastic materials [text books] totaling to twenty two boxes to benefit primary, secondary and university categories in our organization. So far we are still moving on well. Let's keep hoping for more support. The most heart felt appreciation goes to every single institution extending such rare helping hands and driving GUTA toward its… objectives, vision and mission. May your efforts be rewarded abundantly.”
Africa Development Corps is grateful to those who donated the books and made it possible for us to pass them on to beneficiaries in Uganda. A special “thank you” goes to SOS Children’s Villages in Uganda for allowing us to use their space as our distribution center.