International Nongovernmental Organization
Nonprofitorganizations are entities whose drive is something more thanyielding profits. It’s often devoted to benefiting the public,members of an organization or a particular group of people thusexempted from taxes. For a nonprofit organization to be deemedefficient, it should have a clear mission and purpose, a capabilityof performing the primary functions and ability to mobilize others.The study of voluntary organizations could be said to be a relativelycurrent development in social sciences` field that has become one ofthe most dynamic interdisciplinary domains. This paper is going toconduct a study in one of the most famous nonprofit organization,Books For Africa, which has helped millions of children and adults inAfrica content.
Oneof the African scholars wrote about the power of literacy. It may bethe most crucial factor in determining successful participation inmodern society (Headlam,2015). The world’s development agenda musthave literacy. There is an enormous scarcity of library books andtext prevailing throughout Africa. Books for Africa is an entitycommitted to assembling, categorizing, shipping and supplying booksto people in Africa. Its mission is to eradicate the famine of bookspresent in this continent(Evans, Keley, Sikora, Treiman, 2012). Accordingly, it has had millions of contributed books shipped byseveral organizations in the past 25 years to Africa using fundsdonated by private as well as public bodies. It is the biggestshipper of the text and library books offered in African countriesdistributing more than 28 million books worth $28.3 million to 49different nations from 1988. Some study indicates that localizedtextbooks have a tendency of increasing student literacy levels,while others prove that are useless when delivered programs are notconceived properly or implemented.
Thereare reasons why the organization addresses the issue of book supply.Books For Africa believes that learning equalizes the world and thefoundation of a stable education system is books. Giving publicationsin these African countries is considered a gift of hope to mostchildren. The only chance young people have in bringing each cycle ofpoverty down and have a better life than other generations is accessto an education. Books For Africa has a role in helping kids whootherwise would not have the ability to join schools by providinglearning materials thus reducing tuition costs. Educating people issaving the environment by creating a better tomorrow. Most people mayargue that the origin of various issues in Africa is a shortage offinance, limited resources, unstable government, or wars betweenethnic groups but the mother of all these problems is illiteracy.There is more to literacy than just the capacity of reading andwriting. It shapes the life of a person and brightens his/herperception towards life. While some countries have the ability toprovide free education to their citizens, most of these Africancountries are not there yet. You will find that some of the nationswith the free education system in Africa not being able to providebooks required and despite declaring it free, high school fees isstill charged. Parents thus decide not to educate their kids and havethem work at home resulting in generations of uneducated youthimpeding upon the progress of nations. Books For Africa wants to makea society of educated people by making books readily available.Different countries are always sending letters requesting forparticular books, and this organization steadily respond to them.
Severalareas in Africa are affected by issues of illiteracy, economiccrises, malnutrition, and poverty. In accordance to the United StatesAgency for International Development, 40% of children who haveattained school age are not able to attend with an approximate of 46million having never joined any school. A higher number of thoseattending school have never possessed their book, and in mostclasses, 10-20 students may have to share a textbook. While severalpeople in the United States tend to take these education requirementsfor granted, African Children treasure books. When people arestruggling in poverty, the first of their initiatives is to satisfybasic needs like food, shelter, and clothing and not setting asidemoney to purchase a book. It becomes more and more difficult to offereducation in a poor society, but with determination and some helpfrom an organization like Books For Africa, some still succeed. Let’slook at an example of a student born in an impoverished family andilliterate parents there is a high chance of him/her experiencingdifficulties while learning. Illiteracy could result from somefactors such as lack of reading materials and motivation, difficultyliving conditions or poverty. Some African countries such Nigeria areoverpopulated thus providing enough resources for such populationsbecomes a challenge. For instance, in a country like Nigeria, theissue of overpopulation is very dominant thus most people live inslums. Sharing of resources such electricity, water, or books forthis matter is obvious because there is not enough for everyindividual. Every child deserves the freedom of utilizing a book tomaximum and accessing it whenever needed so as to explore the contentthoroughly. Factors contributing to book famine also play asignificant role in the quality of education.
TheINGO distributes books in sea containers to community resourcecenters, adult learning programs, orphanages, and school libraries inrural areas. It assists in creating a culture of literacy andoffering empowerment materials for upcoming generations of leaders,parents, and instructors. Members collect different types of booksparticularly from various donors, and they are open to appreciatingall book donations. After collecting the books, they sort and shipthem in containers. The last step is usually supplying the books tolearning institutions and making them available to African children.There is a particular instance in the organization where a school buswas bought loaded with books and sent to Namibia in a container. Somepeople act as volunteers in this organization, and they help insorting the books according to currency and appropriateness ofsubject. The price of shipping each book to Africa is 50 cents.Donors are advised to make financial donations to cover the expenseof shipping the books they give. In 2012, 22 million books worth28.3million dollars were shipped to 22 African countries together with616 computers and a total of 15 new law libraries. Charity Navigatorhas a rating of 4 stars for Books For Africa as it has met allcriterions that were set by Charities Review Council.
Booksfor Africa own a warehouse containing millions of books that shouldbe delivered to African children. However, they have to raise fundsfor transporting them. One of the ways in which they get this moneyis fundraising. The organization gives some tips for those raisingfunds such as holding events in Universities. Some people evenvolunteer to fund the transportation of a whole container that rangesfrom 10300 to 16000 dollars varying with destinations. Some of thevolunteers also request family and friends to sponsor BFA thusincreasing the funds
Asstated earlier, sponsoring one book requires 50 cents Most of theseshipments are financed by nonprofit organizations with links toAfrica, rotary clubs or churches. There are also corporate sponsorsfor the containers. It requests people all over the world to makedonations and also ask for help from the people they know. Theorganization also appreciates donations for all type of books. Aftersending these copies, clients are requested to send emails indicatingthe number of books contributed. The team makes an effort of sendinga thank you letter for appreciation. Some of the conditions for booksdonation includes popular fiction and nonfiction, reference bookssuch as Encyclopedia dating from 2005, Bibles and religiousmaterials, textbooks of all levels from primary to college and newlypublished medical manuscripts. Grants from companies like Oprah’sAngel Network is also a means of acquiring funds. The aim of thedonated funds is to help in operations of the organization as it hasa very tight budget of around $35 million.
Peopleof all age require books in Africa. However, BFA is accountable forchildren. It gives an opportunity to children who are not able toaccess education and unleash their full potential. These booksprovide them with an opening into the larger world and also enablethinking about their futures. Without education for children, futureof tomorrow is at stake. Most prominent leaders we see today wereonce kids and if they had not been educated, they couldn`t haveachieved that much. What this organization offers to children isoptimism and hope.
Thereis a pre and post-delivery survey conducted in this institution toevaluate accomplishments. Moreover, discussions are held withrecipient body in order to assess effectiveness and advance programimprovements. For instance, in 2014, Rachel Brandy the projectmanager conducted a trip to Rwanda which was a recipient. She managedto collect data and also hold discussions with library administratorand users. The composed information has been able to give a frameworkfor necessary improvements to BFA’s feedback and assessmentschemes. It also brought treasured insight into commercial and socialaspects contributing to an efficacious library project and barriershindering the same. Academic studies carried out internally andexternally bring a new vision into the programs’ efficacy. Thisallows the organization to measure the all impact provided servicesand in cases of any negativity, change, of course, is necessary.
DespiteBooks For Africa making remarkable progress in its operation, bookfamine in Africa still is a reality since in cases where there is anavailability of books, they tend to be minimal. Empty library shelvesin some education institutions are an evidence of how desperatelyAfrica requires printed manuscripts. The organization does not giveup in sending the books until all African children can access booksneeded in learning skills essential for providing for themselves andother people. Various actors have made it possible for theorganization’s achievement. Donors and volunteers seem to a verycrucial part of the company. Most of the financial assistance comesfrom these donors thus BFA has to influence and convince them of theresponsibility at hand and its essence. In almost all of itsadvertisements, there must be information addressed to the donors,the means to donate books, and explanation of how much it costs toship these books. Factors to be considered in book donation have alsobeen indicated such as year of publication, language, types of books,curriculum and context. Western books have been determined as mostcost favorable in shipping. A plan of utilizing the book by Africanchildren should be developed so as to either incorporate them intothe class by a teacher or are availed for supplementary study.
Allof us have intuitive philosophies about developments. Presumably,each time we visualize a developed country, what comes to mind is aworld of well-fed and well-clothed people, availability of goods andservices, affordability of leisure and entertainment, or a healthyenvironment. Also, we could think of violent free nation, excellentmedical facilities, and tolerable levels of equity. In other words,the least that most people could expect from a developed country is ahigh physical quality of life, equitable rather than limited to anincongruously affluent minority. One of the development approachesthat stand out to me is in Rights-based approach. Developmentalagencies and NGO supports it in attaining a progressive change ofpower regarding relations in different growth sectors. Thestakeholders involved here include the right holders who are deniedthe full enjoyment of their right and duty bearers who areresponsible for fulfilling that right. Its principal purpose is tostrengthen the capability of duty bearer and authorize the holders ofthe right at hand. We can define rights as privileges that should beavailable to all people despite ethnicity, socioeconomic class, andrace. Education is a right of every individual despite the status orrace. I agree with the fact that some African continents haveincreased levels of poverty, but still, that is not a factor to denythem the right to read. Books For Africa wants the African countriesto access education by providing them with books despite the presentfactors that may seem it hinder it.
Thegovernment is responsible for providing education, but since it lacksthe ability to afford all the resources necessary, Book For assistsin fulfilling this duty. It helps nations of Africa offer qualityeducation to their children by making unaffordable books available.BFA is concerned about the eradication of literacy and a betterfuture for the African child because education tends to be a solutionto several issues. Poverty has a direct link to under-fulfillment ofhuman rights, and the organization is finding a way to fight this inAfrica. It comprises evaluation of living standards, well-being, andhealth. In this regard, I also take the bottom up as one of thedevelopment strategies used. Its principal purpose is lifting peopleout of poverty by assisting them indirectly. Citizens are given thecapability of helping themselves. After spotting the needs ofcitizens, decisions are made on the most appropriate measures totake. In this case, the concern is eradicating illiteracy that comeswith many advantages mainly ensuring economic development in Africancontents.
Bookswill make sure that most people can access education thus fightingilliteracy. Education will minimize poverty levels enabling economicgrowth. Basically, this benefits the citizens as well as nations. Fordevelopment to take place in a country, equality is very essential.It acts as a bridge between the rich and the poor and ensures fairdistribution of resources. With this, some regions will not be highlydeveloped living others underdeveloped. Equality begins by makingsure that the rights of the citizens are not violated. I stronglyfeel that Book for Africa is in line with the right based approach asit helps the nations in the provision of education. It could maybeconsider adding more educational materials to the books that couldbenefit the poor children and also ensure that the books areavailable in plenty. As mentioned earlier, in spite of the excellentjob it has been doing, instances of insufficient books still exists.Besides, it’s agreeable that books are major components of anyeducation system, but still, it’s not the only material required tojoin schools. With the good name that it has created so far, adding acomponent or two might not be a problem a because the donors alreadyrecognize the great work it has been doing. It could look for anexisting gap like what most African continents are lacking inproviding quality education to every child.
WilliamEasterly is an American economist whose studies are based on thegrowth of an economy. Economic development is a process of enhancingthe social well-being, economy and political state of a country.Politicians and economists have often applied this term in 20th and21st century. The scope of economic growth entails techniques andpolicies that a nation applies in improving the state of its people.This is one of the best approaches to the development of society.Books for People has addressed some part of this strategy bybettering the wellbeing of African citizens. It provides these bookswith the intention of eradicating illiteracy and providing education.BFP also desires a better life for Africans, and as times go bypoverty will be at low levels. BFA intends to make the lives ofteachers, parents, and leaders better through education. One of theadamant social tasks facing most countries today is improving thewelfare and socio-economic abilities of individuals. The organizationwould have to consider the political situation and cost of goods in acountry to fit in this approach. A weak economy has various negativeimpacts to any country.
Tosummarize it all, the achievements of Books for Africa are evidentthus all individuals with the ability to support the organizationshould not hesitate. It exploits one of the most important areas asfar as young generation is concerned. Exterminating illiteracy is thekey to creating a better society with hope and dreams. You canimagine a nation with each one of the citizens educated. This wouldmean massive ideas in diverse career fields including the smallbusinesses. For instance, there is a difference between an educatedshoe polisher and one who has not gone to school. The learned onewill tend to exhaust all ideas of expanding the business while thelatter could polish shoes just for just for survival means. For suchreasons, being educated does not mean that you have to be in thewhite color job, but it re-directs your life such that no matterwhere you land after education, you can still prosper.
Evans,M.D.R., Keley, J., Sikora, J., & Treiman, D. (2012). Familyscholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27nations. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 28(2),171-197.
Headlam,A. (2015). Walking the highway together: Using literacy as the toolto promote unity. In C. Onukaogu & K. Parry (Eds.), Literacy forall in Africa: Volume one – Teaching reading in African schools,(pp. 10-24). Fountain Publishers Ltd. and International ReadingAssociation: Kampala and Newark
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