April 2023


Malawi to Recover and Rebuild After Wreckage Left by Disastrous Storm

Originating as a “tropical low” south of Bali, Indonesia, on February 5, what became Cyclone Freddy first struck Madagascar on February 21, then Mozambique, and eventually Malawi.

The cyclone has broken many meteorological records:

---the longest-lasting tropical cyclone worldwide in recorded history,

---all-time highest accumulated cyclone energy of a tropical cyclone worldwide,

---and one of only 4 cyclone systems to travel the entirety of the southern Indian Ocean),

By late March, the cyclone had delivered 6 months worth of rain in just 6 days – at the END of Malawi’s rainy season, at a time when the ground and the waterways are already thoroughly saturated.

Over 500 people were killed, over 500,000 people lost their homes and all their possessions (including animals on whom they relied for food). Roads, infrastructure, and health care facilities have been devastated by the cyclone, which experts say is the longest-lasting tropical storm on record.

No one associated with the African Library Project could look away from these reports, especially after learning that among the country’s wreckage was Mvera Community Day Secondary School, which had received 1,000 books from the African Library Project in 2018. The roof was torn off, and all the books were soaked – ruined.

While we are working to develop a method for US people to donate specifically to the rebuilding of Mvera CDSS (and probably other ALP libraries as well), we have learned that one of our Malawian partners, DAPP [Direct Assistance from People to People] has been actively engaged in providing shelter to those who lost their homes as well as assisting thousands of cyclone-impacted people with food, clothing, and needed resources (tools, seeds, livestock) so farming can continue. DAPP has provided us with this website to which Europeans and North Americans may donate funds: Help Malawi recover from Cyclone Freddy - Ulule

Help Malawi recover from Cyclone Freddy - Ulule

Mvera CDSS will be among the schools to be matched in our next Malawi Container (M16, scheduled for 2024).


Attention Northern California!!!

Many of you are aware that since 2015 the Bay Area Book Festival has celebrated all things bookish -- most intensively on the first weekend in May in Downtown Berkeley. Both Saturday and Sunday (May 6 + 7) are filled with author events, readings, panel discussions, and book signings. SUNDAY is the one-day OUTDOOR FESTIVAL with information and activity tables from a wide variety of bookstores, literacy organizations, author groups, etc., and African Library Project will be there!

At this year’s Bay Area Book Festival on May 7, ALP volunteers (Chris!, Alice!, Pamela!, Others!, And maybe YOU!!) will be collecting attendees’ donations of gently used children’s books (PreK to 8th grade reading level) at the ALP booth. We will also help interested children [of all ages] make bookmarks to send along with our next libraries – destined for Lesotho, Kenya, and Botswana.

So, before you come to the Festival, look around your homes for any children’s books that YOUR kids are no longer that interested in reading. Bring them along – 1, 2, 5, 10, or 20! – and put them in our boxes labeled PRIMARY (PreK to 4 grade reading level) or SECONDARY (4 to 8 grade reading level). We’ll send them on to Lesotho, Kenya, or Botswana.

And, bring your kids to make bookmarks and to chat with us about organizing your next HALF or FULL library!! And, bring your kids to make bookmarks and to chat with us about organizing your next HALF or Full library!! You'll find the ALP table in the Children’s Activity Section of the Book Festival. We look forward to meeting and greeting you in person.

Updates by Country

Tied for second are Books4Cause and Claire Hubel at 12 Book Drives. And in fourth place is Chris Bradshaw, ALP Founder, at 11 book drives (also pictured above).

Special Thanks to All the UG4 Book Drive Organizers!

Alice Valentine, Amanda Areces, Amira Horowitz, Ann Marie Oliver, Anusha Krishnamoorthy, Avanthika Ramasamy, Bank Of America, Books4Cause, Chris Bradshaw, Claire Hubel, Compassion Week, Damiana Harper, Dusty Reads, Episcopal Day School of St. Matthew, Friends of the Socorro Public Library, Gerry Goodrich Memorial Fund, Girl Scouts, Girl Scouts Troop 144124, Green Apple Education Foundation (Angela Liu), Irene Pereira, Jade Vu, Jai Khurana

Julie King, Kelly Gibson, Kristin, Madison, and Waverly Stark, Lily Dayan Cimadoro

MVP Foundation, Nathan Kreutter, Olivia Theiring, Project Butterfly Charity Club, Radha Klugman, Read Us Africa, Rio del Sol Kiwanis, Rithik Mandalapu, Sagar Anne

Sally & Jonah Ismael, Seshank Bagavath, Sharon Allen, SMMUSD Secondary Libraries, Temple Christian Academy, The Cobb School Montessori, Tiffany Steeves

Tracy Gaestel, Tracy Gaestel, Kathy Hurtt and Friends, Uma Bharat, Vaibhav Jayakumar, Yedenekal Gebrehana, and Zeta Tau Alpha at Rider University.

Your Next Volunteer Opportunity Awaits

We’re seeking volunteers to join our team as a Country Liaison and a Technology Officer. To learn more about these roles, click here. If interested, please email

We are currently not seeking a Container Manager, but if this role interests you - please email

April is Global Volunteer Month!

The African Library Project is so lucky to have so many wonderful and caring individuals, families, and group organizations involved. There are hundreds of volunteers that take part in our efforts. From the collection of library applications and books, loading and unloading boxes, the measurement of our impact, and everything in between - thank you for being a member of our community! <3 <3

Also, being celebrated this month are Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) Day on April 12, and Global Youth Service Day from April 28 - April 30. Throughout the month, we will be featuring book recommendations provided by some of our volunteers and board members. We’ll feature our first release of book recommendations on April 12 for D.E.A.R. Day on our social media.

Join us in creating awareness about Global Youth Service Day (April 28 - 30) and Global Volunteer Month! While we share some of our favorite books, we invite our youth volunteers to share with us their top 3 favorite reads and some other interesting and bookish facts about themselves. If interested in being highlighted during Youth Book Drive Organizers, please complete this form here.

(Please note that a sign in to a GMail account is required, because of a request for a media file, if you do not wish to submit a media file via the above link, click here).

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In the News…

‘First Grader’ Showing at SALA At 6:30 P.M. Today During African Library Project Fundraiser

March 20, 2023 | Los Almos Reporter

Los Alamos High School School Key Club members make cotton candy Monday at SALA Event Center for the African Library Project fundraiser. The movie ‘First Grader’, which was filmed in Africa, will show at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. Read the full article here.

Star Student: Anna Excels in Girl Scouts Service Across NYC

March 9, 2023 | Patch

Anna is in her 10th year of Girl Scouts and has devoted many hours of community service to her local community. She received her Silver Award by collecting 1,000 books for African Library Project to support a local library in Malawi. Read the full article here.

Goal Getter: When Tahirah Abdul-Qadir ’26 Sets a Goal, She Achieves It

March 7, 2023 | Syracuse University News

When Syracuse native and first-year student Tahirah Abdul-Qadir ’26 set a goal to complete the Congressional Award program, she went for the highest achievable level possible: the Congressional Gold Medal. Read the full article here.