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Australians for African Libraries

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by Laura Marshall (subscribe)
Brisbane, born and bred.
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A child shouldn't be denied The Jolly Postman
African Libraries Project
Growing up without books like Where the Wild Things Are, Possum Magic and, my personal favourite, The Jolly Postman, doesn't even bear thinking about. It's so easy to forget that there are millions of people living all over the world who don't know the genius of Mem Fox.

African Libraries Project is an American initiative that aims to collect used ("gently used" as they term it) children's books as well as funds, in order to set up small libraries across communities in Africa: 1000 books and $500 is actually all it takes to set up a library and change the lives of a community of children.

What's this got to do with us in Australia? Well, this amazing non-profit is currently running a pilot program in Australia, Australians for African Libraries, with the aim of opening 30 libraries in Malawi in Spring 2013. For this to happen, all they need is generous people to organise book drives and raise the necessary funds.

Every child should get the chance to read these classics
Although 1000 books seems like a lot, once you have canvassed all of your friends and family for their children's books, you might find it's not so many after all. You can also put the call out through the project's Facebook page for people in your area to contribute. If organising your own book drive is a bit daunting, they also need financial donations, or you can contact the organisers to see if there is a book drive going on in your area that you can contribute to - just email: zebrabookcrossing@gmail.com.

Because every child should get the chance to follow the hungry caterpillar's culinary journey.
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