The Libraries for Liberia and Sierra Leone Book Drive Project is an initiative spearheaded by Rev. Whitney Bain III, Innerspring Youth Program (IYP) Founder, which begins Friday, September 14 through Friday, September 21, 2018 on the grounds of Kingdom Worship Center International (KWCI), #9 Tree Root Plaza.
The international philanthropic mission trip to West Africa (Liberia and Sierra Leone) is orchestrated to assist with the building of libraries, which once established would provide many impoverished citizens access to reading books and reference materials needed to improve the literacy rate.
According to Rev. Bain, “The goal of the book drive is to help build libraries in Liberia and Sierra Leone; after having visited Africa two years ago, I took it upon myself to inquire from leaders there what the people needed assistance with and the primary plea was for libraries to be established.
“Honestly, we here on Grand Bahama and The Bahamas in general oftentimes take for granted the fact that we have libraries on-island as well as have readied access to electronic books (Kindles, Mac Books etc.,) and while there are such devices and materials available in Liberia (and Sierra Leone) electrical current and Internet/Wi-Fi is not consistent.
“Another issue of concern is the fact that literacy is not far spread and one would discover that while many people may have the devices and materials at their disposal, they have no knowledge, as it regards how to use them.
“Sadly, they do not have the literacy necessary to connect with these things, hence we (Innerspring Youth Program) are looking to build libraries in Liberia by collecting books that are not in use presently by our population and school-aged children including gently used encyclopedias, textbooks, research books and other such reference materials (spiritual/motivational, psychology, business, science etc.,) that would be sorted and shipped to Liberia and Sierra Leone.”
Acknowledging the fact that within the local community in many homes, schools and churches there are books gathering dust that can be used by others around the world like those in Liberia and Sierra Leone, to improve their knowledge base and who not only need them but are pleading for it, Rev. Bain encouraged the general public to lend their support.
And with the English language touted worldwide, as the language of business, the IYP founder shared the fact that when reviewing the general population census globally, Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world, which he claims can be tied directly to the fact that Liberia is one of the countries in the world that has a very high illiteracy rate.
“Indeed, reading is fundamental and if the people of Liberia and Sierra Leone want to get out of poverty they are going to have to strengthen their educational base and that starts with reading (learning how to read).
“If they have no libraries in the country or only private schools have access to library books while the vast majority does not, then the lack of access to such, inclusive of books and materials they would have no way to raise themselves out of poverty.
“No access to resources, not knowing how to read, write or conduct research or learn history through books causes one generation after the other and so on, will continue to stagnate in squalor and not be able to elevate themselves beyond where they are presently.
“Reading in the case of the ‘Libraries for Liberia and Sierra Leone Project’ is indeed fundamental and Grand Bahama definitely has a major role to play in this effort in order to assist in raising the awareness and sending resources to West Africa particularly at this time Liberia and Sierra Leone and aid the people in getting a foothold as it relates to reading, knowledge and elevation,” declared Rev. Bain, who also stated, “When we look at the society of Grand Bahama, we are aware of the fact that we have issues and dilemmas to contend with ourselves in myriad areas, such as educationally, financially and economically, however out of our needs we still can give out of our excess to benefit others.
“By doing so (giving) we can make a way for others, who in turn may give to us even greater than we have to give; personally, I feel this is a great mission to get behind, schools, churches, businesses, civic organizations and more should be a part of this effort giving a little to help a lot.”
Grateful to have the assistance of the Leos of LIONS Club, who will be helping to collect books at the donation site registering, sorting and weighing them for placement on the container/trailer, Rev. Bain noted that his mission trip to West Africa will commence on Saturday, October 6, 2018 to Monday, December 10, 2018 and those wishing to donate funds and/or books to assist can do so.
Furthermore, he thanked the people of Abaco, who learned about this initiative via Facebook and WhatsApp and have decided to send books by way of Pinder’s Ferry Services.
“Not only will they (Abaconian donors) box up the books they are donating, tag them for Whitney Bain 458-0675 in care of Margaret Pinder’s Ferry but they will also pay a minimal fee for it to come on the ferry as well as have the boxes bussed from East End to Downtown, Freeport for packaging and shipment.
“Indeed, we are stronger together and I encourage those wishing to support the cause to kindly donate gently used books no longer used in the school system, which includes encyclopedia sets, reference books as well as computers/laptops/kindles that are no longer being used but are still functional.
“Monetary donations to assist with shipping the container to Liberia would be appreciated and proceeds from this initiative will also be used to help build libraries in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“For more information please visit: fundrazer.com/librariesforliberia and to make a donation visit: paypal.me/whitsunleadership, indeed the support of the community is appreciated and God bless all,” declared Rev. Bain.