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Rwandan Schools to Receive 42,000 Books, Valued at Half A Million Dollars, from Isaro Foundation

September 20th, 2013

In the quest of improving reading and writing skills in Rwanda, Isaro Foundation has been shipping books to Rwanda. The number of shipped books between November 2011 and May 2013 is estimated at 16,000, a number that Isaro Foundation has always considered like a ‘drop in a sea’. In order to give a hand to Isaro Foundation, Books for Africa and Books for International Goodwill have stepped in with a donation of 2 containers of 42,000 high quality books that are valued at $500,000 or Rwf 335 million.

The first container is a donation of 22,000 books from Books For Africa (BFA) due to a generous grant of Sir Emeka Offor Foundation. Rachel Brady, the Project Manager of Books For Africa, announced: “we are excited to extend this offer [40-feet container of books] to you [Isaro Foundation], and thank you for your continued partnership towards providing access to quality books for students in Rwanda.”

Books For Africa remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 28 million books to 49 different countries since 1988. In 2012, they shipped 2.2 million books valued at $28.3 million to 22 African countries, with an additional 616 computers and 15 brand new law libraries.

The second container of 20,000 books is a donation from Books for International Goodwill (B.I.G). Based in Maryland, B.I.G has sent over 6 million books to developing countries in the last 15 years. Jean Leon Iragena K., Isaro Foundation Founder, and Dr. Stephen Frantzich, President of B.I.G, got in touch in the spring of 2013.

Photo: Isaro Foundation Container Being Loaded. Courtesy Photo by Dr. Frantzich

“The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Isaro Foundation and Books For Africa was signed on June 26th, 2013 but the information was kept confidential within the Isaro Foundation and its partners for preparation purposes. Preparations included Isaro Foundation CEO trip to Rwanda last July. The memorandum of understanding between Isaro Foundation and Books for International Goodwill was, at its turn, signed on September 5th.” Fabio Ntagwabira, the chief communications officer of Isaro Foundation pointed out.
“Isaro Foundation accepted both offers with glamorous enthusiasm. These books will be valuable assets in our education programs in Rwanda” Thierry Y. Tuyishimire, the Public Relations Officer of Isaro Foundation added.

Books2Rwanda, which is a department within Isaro Foundation, will handle the distribution of the books to Rwandan schools. Books2Rwanda was created in order to increase the number of books in Rwandan schools and libraries. Iradukunda Alleluya, the director of Books2Rwanda, said that “Isaro Foundation has moved from one stage to another; these donations take us further in our campaign of improving reading and writing skills in Rwanda. My team is finalizing strategic plans on how these books will be distributed to schools. Applications are open. The first container arrives in Rwanda in a month or so.”

Beginning from scratch in 2011, Isaro Foundation has been able to find its rank as one of the most successful NGOs in Rwanda and abroad. With more than 135 members and 7 permanent volunteers, Isaro Foundation aims even higher. “We don’t want to get distracted by people’s praise; such big donations come with a lot of responsibilities. Our goal is to see Rwandans read. We are not there yet, but we are on the right track. Like President Obama told young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg during his last visit to Africa ‘no job is more important than educating our young people.’ We want to keep doing this most important job for our country” Iragena, the 23 year old CEO concluded.

Libraries and Schools can start presenting their interests in receiving these books by filling in the online application form

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