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.

Alex spent his last semester in Africa.  Thank you for your assistance in writing this blog post.

Alex spent his last semester in Africa. Thank you for your assistance in writing this blog post.

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 family earn a as more economical than a getting primary education. This last possibility has been seen to be true when parents feel there is a lack of skills-based learning and applicability in school curriculum. Solutions to getting students to come to school have ranged from providing lunch to subsidizing uniforms to providing medical care at schools.

Clearly, education is an intricate challenge across the world, from underdeveloped countries to those developed. It takes many actors with many talents and capabilities to positively change an issue as complex as education in developing regions. Textbooks Africa understands its role in this fight. Textbooks Africa’s tasks itself with providing proper access through supplying essential school materials that will foster students’ growth. Textbooks Africa provides anything from a small children’s book to a desktop computer to targeted schools across Africa. Textbooks Africa knows that without the materials so desperately needed, there is a cap on what can be achieved in the classroom. Textbook Africa’s talent  is in using our State-side location to collect materials people would otherwise throw away, use our contacts on-the-ground in targeted African countries, and distribute the school materials.

So looking forward, we are excited to continue our work here at Textbooks Africa and excitedly looking forward to the new education goals in the pending Sustainable Development Goals.  Textbooks Africa is dedicated to supporting the education of children in Africa.  But more than this, Textbooks Africa relies on our partner and supporters to help us in our mission to “Reuse, Educate and Inspire”.  You can support us by donating money to help pay for shipments to Africa, donate books and school supplies or volunteer to help with fundraising. Visit our website  or learn more about us on Facebook or Twitter.

Without your support, we would not be able to continue the work we do, and we are very thankful to have the opportunity to do so. Whether you are a long-time supporter or have just recently heard of us, I want to personally thank you for your support. We welcome your feedback and the opportunity to provide more information on request.

Wede Gibson, Founder and President of Textbooks Africa

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