For many children in Africa, the gift of books truly is a gift of hope. Access to an education is one of the only opportunities young people have to end the cycle of poverty and attain a better quality of life than previous generations.
Wars, economic crises, poverty, malnutrition, and illiteracy plague many areas of Africa. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), 40 percent of school-age children in Africa do not attend school. Forty-six million African children have never set foot in a classroom.
Most African children who attend school have never owned a book of their own. In many classrooms, 10-20 students share one textbook. Many people in the United States take these educational necessities for granted, but children in Africa cherish books.
Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum has introduced House Resolution 3701, called "More Books For Africa," which calls for a major appropriation to ship more books to Africa. Congressman Keith Ellison (MN) is a co-sponsor.
Please send this petition to your representatives and ask them to sign on to this legislation. By doing so, you will help put more books into the hands of children in Africa who are hungry to read, hungry to learn.
Thank you for your support!
I am a constituent of yours and am writing to encourage you to support global literacy. House Resolution 3701, the More Books For Africa bill, will provide significant funding for literacy efforts in Africa -- $15 million over five years. These funds would re-direct USAID funding (currently USAID spends approximately $9 billion annually) towards a key literacy initiative, getting books to kids in Africa. This initiative will result in the shipment of approximately 30 million donated books to libraries across Africa.
Since a donated book worth well over $100 can be shipped to a library in Africa for about 50 cents, I think that this makes good economic sense and I would like to see this small portion of U.S. government foreign aid appropriated in the months ahead directed in this way under H.R. 3701. Such funding, basically a rounding error in the U.S. foreign assistance budget, will help transform an entire continent as school and community libraries across Africa are filled with books donated by American citizens.
I strongly encourage you to sign on as a co-author of House Resolution 3701, the More Books For Africa bill. I support global literacy and encourage you to do the same. Thank you for your support.
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