After months of preparations, cross-Atlantic negotiations and a personal visit of Zimbabwe reads project director to Sabre Foundation’s warehouse in Boston, 58,000 books donated by American publishers and individual friends of Zimbabwe reached Harare on February 2, 2012.
The largest part of the shipment was 40,000 primary school science booklets provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The regional committees distributed these colorful graded readers, as well as 10,000 McGraw-Hill primary and secondary school books, mostly in the Harare and Bulawayo areas. For distribution, Zimbabwe reads also partnered with the Catholic school network of almost 200 schools.
Zimbabwe reads tries hard to make sure the right books get to the right beneficiaries. A group of nursing schools in Western Zimbabwe received 14 boxes of specialized nursing books.
The shipment also included 30 boxes of fiction and 20 boxes of academic books in the humanities from Harvard University Press that were distributed to the University of Zimbabwe and hard-hit tertiary institutions. The distribution of these books was almost entirely complete by the end of April.
All our beneficiaries expressed gratitude for the donations and assured us that the books will be used efficiently. However, librarians from the Book Aid Bulawayo Committee drew our attention to the fact that primary schools science readers because of their size will quickly be worn out by their readers. Schools and NGOs like World Education Inc. that work with out-of-school youth, on the contrary, were sure science readers will be instrumental in their work.
David Fluck, related both to the UZ medical school and a secondary school that benefited from the Sabre donation, illustrates best our beneficiaries’ appreciation of the books, “Books of the quality and usefulness that you have supplied through your Zimbabwe reads programme are simply neither obtainable nor affordable in Zimbabwe and we are very grateful for the donation and for the work that went into their selection.”
Organizations that received books include:
Bulawayo primary schools
Bulawayo Rotary Clubs
Catholic University of Zimbabwe
Catholic schools national network
Great Zimbabwe University
Harare City Library
Harare Rotary Clubs and their partner schools
Jesuit schools of the Zimbabwe Province
Lupane State University
Makumbi Mission network of rural schools
Midlands State University
National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo
Nursing schools in the Midlands and Matabeleland
University of Zimbabwe
World Education Inc
Writers International Network-Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Open University