Books For Africa (BFA) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to end the book famine in Africa. It was founded by Tom Warth in 1988. Warth was inspired to create the organization while on a trip to Uganda. While there he visited a library that was practically devoid of books. Once he was back home, he contacted libraries, publishers, and schools and formed BFA.
In 27 years, BFA has shipped over 34 million books to 49 countries. Books are donated by individuals, schools, libraries, and publishers and shipped to Africa in 40-foot ocean containers, upon request. The shipments are sponsored by BFA contributors and supporters such as Coca-Cola and Fotemah Mba of JUMP Africa. It costs around $10,000 to send a container. Individuals and groups are encouraged to create fundraising projects or donate to existing projects.
BFA also maintains a volunteer program in St. Paul, Minnesota and Atlanta, Georgia. “We have become the largest volunteer footprint in Atlanta over the last 5 years… our volunteers go from around 30 volunteers a month, on the low side, to the high 900’s to around 1,500 volunteers per month,” says Production Manager, James Hall.
BFA is passionate about creating a “culture of literacy” and has taken monumental steps, “to empower people everywhere by making books available.”