Honeoye Falls-Mendon Rotary: Don Majewski
Early in 2000, a U.S. Rotarian from Texas and a South African Rotarian from Johannesburg met during a leadership training conference in California. As often with such meetings of newfound friends, the two discovered many common interests and shared concerns.
The Johannesburg Rotarian said, “Millions of our young people throughout Southern Africa need books and materials. Our governments are struggling to meet the people’s barest needs but our teachers have so little with which to teach.”
After learning about South Africa’s newly established Rotary-sponsored model operation that solved many of the problems of donated material transfer and distribution, the American Rotarian asked his new friend how he could help.
“Bury me in books,” he replied without hesitation. The Texas Rotarian pledged his help and has since enlisted the participation of thousands of his fellow Rotarians throughout the US.
According to this single Rotarian who saw a need, “Our challenge now is to replicate this successful system in other parts of the world. To do this, the basic ingredients are committed Rotarians and volunteers, donated warehousing and transportation, and a supply of donated books and educational materials.”
Additional information can be found at:
Joe Rosenshein, Ph.D.
Honeoye Falls-Mendon Rotary Club
Q. Why are books in English being sent to the poorest regions of the world?
A. English is predominately the language of business and commerce worldwide and is the common language denominator.
Q. What types of books are being sought for this effort?
A. Children’s books of nearly any kind have universal appeal: illustrated, text, activity, pre-K – 6 elementary. Also, K – 12 textbooks with teacher’s materials, if available, are being sought.
Q. Why is Books for the World mainly concentrating on the southern African region for distribution?
A. Rotary has insured that there is careful and planned distribution without waste as well as distinct need. Rotarians are responsible throughout the pipeline – from donor to recipient. There are other regions coming on line.
Q. Is there a need for periodicals, fiction, reference and other specialized books?
A. At this time, the greatest need is for children’s and K-12 academic materials. As Rotarians worldwide continue engagement in the project, other regions and needs are being added. Spanish texts are also being sought now for Latin America.