A Note of Congratulations to One of our Own

Textbooks Africa and its members don’t just work to improve societies across the world, but they also do so in their own communities. Today, it is our privilege to announce that George Alber, Vice President of Textbooks Africa, long-time resident of Fairfax County, Virginia, and outstanding member of his County’s NAACP, was appointed to the Fairfax County Human Rights Commission over the Christmas holiday season. When George joined the NAACP in early 2014, he dove right in and quickly found his niche. Since joining the NAACP, George has served as Chair of the 2015 Nominating Committee, as the Branch’s representative to the Fairfax County Meals Tax Referendum Task Force, and as a member of the Branch Legal Redress Committee. In addition to being a member of the Recruitment, Diversity, and Vetting Subcommittee in support of the Fairfax County Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, Alber has been leading the Branch’s advocacy campaign to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School since July 2015. George’s work at the NAACP, Textbooks Africa, and now the FairFax County Human Rights Commission inspires those in his community and those he works alongside. When George was notified of his appointment to the Fairfax County Human Rights Commission, he said: I am honored to have been appointed to the Human Rights Commission.  I am committed to helping to fulfill the Commission’s mission in Fairfax County:   “to institute an affirmative human rights program of positive efforts to eliminate discrimination and provide citizen recourse for discriminatory acts.” We at Textbooks Africa are unable to properly express how lucky we feel to have George at our sides. He motivates us every day and we wish him the best of luck with his new appointment at the Human Rights Commission. For the full press release announcing George’s new appointment, see...

Textbooks Africa’s Ghana Shipment

Textbooks Africa rang in the New Year with a shipment of school supplies, including totes, math and reading books, coloring books, and coloring utensils to Pre-Kindergarten children living in Buduburam refugee camp, Ghana. Buduburam refugee camp, a camp just outside Ghana’s capital city of Accra, was setup in by the UNHCR in 1990 as a result of the First Liberian Civil War. The camp has provided refuge to many thousands of victims of this conflict and other conflicts, notably the Second Liberian Civil War and the Sierra Leone Civil War. If you didn’t catch our Facebook post on this recent shipment, you can find pictures we took on distribution day. The shipment targeted a school for disabled children in Buduburam. There to receive the supplies was Joe Worthington, pictured below, who has been working with these children in Buduburam for four years. Joe partnered with Textbooks Africa in ensuring the school supplies arrived and were distributed...

Textbooks Africa on The Arnette Report

  Wede Gibson, Founder and President of Textbooks Africa, recently appeared on the The Arnette Report to discuss Textbooks Africa and the work it does. Wede and Jeff Arnette discussed Textbooks Africa’s origins, its mission and how it accomplishes it, and the demand for educational materials in many African countries. During the interview, Wede also emphasized the intimate relationship Textbooks Africa has with the schools receiving the educational materials, adding that three of Textbooks Africa’s board members are originally African. Wede went on to proudly note that Textbooks Africa has a “door to door” policy when shipping materials in that it ensures our shipments get to the targeted areas safely and in a timely manner. Wede’s appearance with Jeff on The Arnette Report was a great opportunity for Textbooks Africa to tell others about the work we do. Moreover, it gave us the chance to examine with Jeff some of the obstacles Textbooks Africa runs into when trying to accomplish its mission, notably a lack of funds and storage space. In concern to both challenges, we at Textbooks Africa are constantly looking for partnerships and sponsorships of any...

The Road Ahead

A few years ago the United Nations put forth a proposal for Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs)  which are described as a set of “action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate” to help promote sustainable development. Sustainable development goals contain over ten goals covering a broad range of global issues.  These goals are expected to form part of the United Nations agenda for the next 15 years. It includes ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting the environment. The Sustainable Development Goals, created as an extension of the Millennium Development Goals will serve as the basis for which the international organizations, governments, NGOs, and other key players in development will focus their work on. Like the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Developmental Goals will serve as the international vision for the world, and organizations like Textbooks Africa are tasked with helping the UN in accomplishing them. A core tenet of these goals is education, specifically “achieving universal primary education.” We are thankfully in a day and age in which education is seen as a means of empowerment for individuals in their intellectual growth and career building. But more than this, it is being acknowledged that basic education through even just primary school levels creates a foundation for which people’s lifestyles are altered for the better. The World Bank note, for example, that a girl with a fifth grade education is more likely to marry at a later age, seek medical care, and vote in her community.  Furthermore, a basic education among a population does wonders for the development of communities. However, as beneficial education is in society, the goal of achieving universal primary education is a challenge, and few people are denying this. There are many components to achieving the goal. First, the proper access to education must be created. This means having governments or private institutions capable and willing to build schools, pay qualified teachers, administrators, and staff, creating a practical curriculum, and having basic school supplies. If the access is available for schools then what? The second crucial stage of implementing educational goal is often forgotten. If proper access has been provided to a community, the next step is motivating students to come to school. Many students will enroll in school, but not necessarily come because, they cannot afford school uniforms or school supplies, or parents view helping the...

Youth Contributions to Textbooks Africa

Youth Contributions to Textbooks Africa Recently, Daniel Caracciolo, a student at Paul VI Catholic High School (PVI), helped collect, inventory, pack, and unload approximately ninety boxes of school supplies such as books and athletic apparel for children in Africa from PVI and St. Timothy’s (STS)! Additionally, he collected twenty-four basketballs, twenty-four soccer balls, ten lacrosse balls, and various uniforms for sports such as soccer and volleyball from PVI. Daniel also received eleven footballs with an air pump from a private donor. The PVI PTO and softball Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) donated approximately one hundred and sixty football jerseys. That is a great accomplishment, Daniel! Bibles and other Catholic books were also collected which will go to Catholic Schools in Africa. We would also like to thank Mrs. Colwell, Mr. McLaughlin, Mrs. Carroll, and Mrs. Zanelotti for assisting Daniel to help gather donations for Textbooks Africa! This is a great example of youth leadership and uniting the members of the community with one goal: helping the children in Africa. The children are in dire need of these supplies, and they will be extremely grateful. The donations will help the children know that they are not alone. Through these supplies, the children will be equipped to be successful, both academically and athletically. At Textbooks Africa, we encourage more youth leaders to take a stand, talk to their communities, and try help gather more supplies and money so we can reach even more children in Africa. Shristi...

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