First, I have to say that I am overwhelmed and touched by the response of so many, (including strangers!), who want to help out a school in Africa that they haven’t even seen. Thank you to everyone who is collecting books, sharing the request with friends, and being so willing to help in any way possible. I’m proud to say we already have 160+ books, and kids are beginning to come and check them out. It’s exciting!
Secondly, I know that some have wanted to make financial contributions towards this project. Thank you for your generosity! In order to receive monetary donations, I will need to collaborate with the Peace Corps and jump through some hoops to set it up an official fundraiser. I am in contact with the staff, and this is something that will probably transpire over the next several months. But, it will take time.
After a LONG summer break, the new school year has just started (they attend school year-round), and people are returning to work. I am teaming up with a few colleagues at my school who are energized with the prospect of starting our own library, and we are in contact with people from the Ministry of Education. We put in a request for books last school year, and are expecting to receive our first shipment in April or May. In the mean time, I have set up a mini classroom library with the books that have been already sent here, and am allowing kids to come after school to hang out and check out books. Improving our school’s reading culture is a goal this year, and I am hopeful that the students will discover the joy of reading as a result.
Lastly, if you are still interested in shipping books here, there is a cheaper method to do so, but it is much more complicated. Please follow the instructions below if you want to attempt it!
You will want to use something called Airmail M-Air Bags. Essentially, you can use this method if you are only sending books or other printed materials that isn’t a correspondence.
What you need it do is go to a USPS store, ask for some M-Bag tags, a customs form and a few M-Bags (I believe it’s a #1 bag) which is a large plastic bag. Then you need to box all of your books and address them all to Megan Samaniego*P.O.Box 1906*Keetmanshoop*Namibia. IMPORTANT: each box cannot exceed 4lbs, and they all need to be addressed individually. Then you can put all of your <4lbs boxes into this bag and attach the M-Bag tag. They will weigh the bag, and as long as the total bag weighs between 11-66lbs, you can send for a variable rate (roughly 3-3.5 per pound) which is cheaper and allows for a lot more flexibility than the other ways. The shipping will 4-6 weeks. PLEASE NOTE that you can’t send cards or letters this way, because if they are found in your shipments they could assign a penalty.
Thank you, again, for your interest and support in our school!