Books to Malawi
On November 4, 2014, while representing the National Council of Women of the United States (NCWUS), I arrived in Malawi, Africa with a newfound sense of determination. Though I have visited the country on several occasions, this trip had special meaning. I was there to deliver thousands of books to schoolchildren desperately in need of better education.
The delivery was sponsored and coordinated by UPS, the largest shipment and logistics company in the world, as part of their 2014 Your Wishes Delivered holiday campaign. The campaign illustrates the dedication UPS tirelessly puts toward delivering every-day-wishes. It also highlights some truly magical wishes that cannot be contained by boxes. Like my wish for the children of Malawi to have adequate educational resources and materials.
The schools in Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, are poverty stricken. Some consist of simple outside areas where chalkboards are hung on tree branches and the students sit on the ground. Supplies, especially books, are at a premium. Despite these conditions, the children are bright-eyed and eager to learn.
Malawi needs assistance meeting the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals—a cause that matches NCWUS’ mission to educate women and children around the world.
As serendipity would have it, an acquaintance put me in touch with Robert Brown, the President of the International BookSmart Foundation (IBSF). The IBSF operates out of a warehouse in High Point, North Carolina, which houses over a million discarded textbooks, all collected from schools that recently upgraded their resources.
The major challenge? These books sit in limbo until an organization or private citizen sponsor their transport.
So I took matters into my own hands. I approached UPS, initially seeking help with the shipment of 40,000 schoolbooks from the U.S. warehouse to Lilongwe, Malawi.
What resulted was the shipment of 6.5 tons of books, enthusiastically received by Malawi’s young scholars. What’s more, UPS also featured the delivery as a main component of Your Wishes Delivered. This important spotlight illuminates the common cause that the NCWUS and the IBSF share to spread quality educational resources across the globe.
It also shows that there is power in a book. It is one of the most impactful tools you can put into the hands of a child. It offers an education that no one can take away. Something I intend to continue providing for children in need.
My wish for 2015 is that the new year is every bit as fruitful as this year’s endeavor.
To donate funds or volunteer your time in support of book deliveries, please contact me, Ms. Mary Singletary, at 212-697-1278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.