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Empowering Through Literature: My Journey With the African Library Project

Guest Blogger,
Girl in a library in Africa

My name is Nysha Prasad, and I am a sophomore at Taft Charter High School. Since last year, I have been volunteering at the Woodland Hills Library. There's something truly magical about the world of books, isn't there? They possess the extraordinary ability to transport us to distant lands, introduce us to captivating characters, and spark our wildest imaginations. For as long as I can remember, reading has served as my sanctuary, offering me an escape into a realm of boundless possibilities. This profound love for reading has not only been a personal journey but has also inspired me to take on a role as a volunteer for the African Library Project.

The African Library Project, in partnership with volunteers from both Africa and North America, brings about transformative change, one book at a time. Together, we collaborate to establish, enhance, and sustain libraries in various African communities. This incredible initiative was founded in 2005 by Chris Bradshaw and her family, hailing from Portola Valley, California. Their motivation stemmed from a visit to remote villages in Lesotho, a picturesque mountainous country in Southern Africa. Witnessing the scarcity of public libraries in the entire country, Chris was compelled to combat the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.

As a volunteer, I collect gently used children's books from friends, family, and local communities. These cherished literary treasures are thoughtfully packed into boxes and shipped to their African destinations. The heartwarming images of children engrossed in reading, their faces illuminated by the words on each page, make every ounce of effort worth it. The African Library Project is more than just the distribution of books; it symbolizes empowerment, transformation, and the collective adoration for reading.

Through my involvement in this initiative, I have not only shared my passion for reading but have also contributed to the cultivation of education, inspiration, and possibility within the hearts and minds of those most in need.

Suppose you, too, deeply appreciate the world of books and recognize the transformative power of reading. In that case, I wholeheartedly encourage you to explore volunteer opportunities with organizations such as the African Library Project. Your love for reading has the potential to radiate as a beacon of light, guiding others toward a brighter, more empowered future. Together, we can work towards creating a world where every individual can embark on their literary adventures, pursuing their dreams through the enchanting pages of a book.

—Written by Nysha Prasad

Nysha is a volunteer at the Woodland Hills Branch and a 10th-grade student at Taft Charter High School.

—Toki Gholami, Young Adult Librarian, Woodland Hills Branch