What is Efiwe?
Efiwe is a Non-profit Organization and our aim is to continue to enrich the educational experiences of Africans back home. Our core focus is to collect and ship University textbooks to African Tertiary Institution libraries. This will help alleviate the lack in African Universities and expose the students to relevant texts. We are able to achieve this by collaborating with American Universities, Book donors, Student Volunteers, Donations, African Universities through relevant partnerships.
We hope to run a very open and transparent system of book collections, donations, and transport to Africa. Please feel free to ask us questions about our process and handling of resources (financial, educational etc.). The pilot scheme for this project will send books to Nigeria, West Africa and then Africa.
Efiwe is focused on enriching the Educational experience of African University Students and the African Youth. We believe that access to more and better books/textbooks will significantly impact on the Human Capital in Africa and therefore lead to a better populace and a better Africa.
We achieve our goal of supplying African libraries with better books by organizing book donation drives in the US and seeking funds/donations to send the collected books back to Africa.
This idea was a product of a book drive organized by Philip Alabi, a Chemistry graduate student at Southern Illinois University (from May 2016-March 2017). He was able to collect and send over 1000 books to his Alma mater University (Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria). Some articles were written in some media outlets here in the US regarding the book drive. Below are some links to the published newspaper stories:
The drive was an eye-opener for him and he thought of sending more books and reaching out to more American Universities for donations and participation.
How did we start?
It all started as mere thoughts when I (Philip Alabi) saw books in front of the Chemistry Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, They were up for grabs, relevant (very relevant) and no one was picking them. The waste dawned on me, I quickly connected the dots and thought of the lack of books back home. I picked some and went on to speak with friends (Scott Haxton and Mike Ontl) about the idea of collecting more books and sending to Nigeria. They advised that I speak with the Chair of the department and so I did. I went on to speak with the Chair of the Chemistry department (Dr. Leah O Brien) and Dr. Jones and they were responsible for sending me the first 80 Books collected.
To cut a very long story short, I was able to collect and send over 1000 books (between 06/2016 – 03/2017) from different people in the Edwardsville area. I then had the books sent to the Tai Solarin University of Nigeria. I was also able to raise funds for the shipment of the books, raising 1288 dollars from friends, Colleagues and so many people that I didn’t even know.
I started thinking of the idea of starting a larger book drive, I thought of an idea that will reach out to more schools and deliver relevant college textbooks to Tertiary Institution libraries.
On January 2017 I started assembling a team of developers and strategist for the development of the idea. My first recruit was Sean Sullivan, 0thers were added in due course. I was also able to assemble a board by March 2017.
Where do our book donations go?
- The donated books go to tertiary institutions in Africa that are short of books. Our strategy is to start with familiar African countries and then expand to other countries. The pilot scheme will send books to Nigeria but the core idea will eventually scale to West Africa and Africa.
Where do monetary donations go?
- Monetary donations go to the Efiwe accounts. The funds are only used for the shipment of books and maintaining the Efiwe platform and organization. No volunteers or anyone on the team gets paid from donated funds.
How many books have been donated?
- The last drive saw over a thousand books donated. The number of books donated continues to change as volunteers continue to add more. All of the books are placed on the platform and can be accessed by the public.