FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Wendy Lee
Peace Corps Volunteer
PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER GOES ONLINE TO BUILD 28 LIBRARIES IN RURAL WEST AFRICA
Volunteer seeks $11,500 using the Internet to bring Books for Cameroon to life
CAMEROON, WEST AFRICA, 5 July, 2009 – Inspired by her experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer, Wendy Lee, of Saint Louis, Missouri, is launching an online fundraising campaign to raise $11,500 to build at least 28 bilingual libraries in the West African country of Cameroon.
Lee hopes to collect $5 donations from 2,300 individuals using the Peace Corps web site (http://tiny.cc/booksforcameroon) and promotion on Facebook, Twitter and her own blog (http://roundtwocameroon.blogspot.com) to garner support for her Books for Cameroon project.
“The Peace Corps experience has changed a lot since the 60s,” says Lee. “I live in a small village in western Cameroon. My house does not have running water, but I have Internet access. I started sharing my adventures on my blog and exchanging ideas with other volunteers. When we launched the library project, we knew that we could reach the most people online.”
When she began Books for Cameroon, Lee wanted to supply a four room school near her house with some books. She contacted Books for Africa, an American organization dedicated to promoting literacy across the African continent. After receiving an all-or-nothing proposition for one container of 22,000 books, Lee joined forces with three other Peace Corps volunteers and the project quickly expanded to include 28 schools and communities across Cameroon.
Libraries generally do not exist in Cameroonian schools, especially not in remote villages. And although some schools have one room with books, existing resources are underutilized. The Books for Cameroon project will not only supply books to create libraries. Lee and other Peace Corps volunteers will work in collaboration with RIDEV (Research Institute for Development), a Cameroonian organization, to provide library management training to ensure sustainability.
Since Cameroon is a country striving for bilingualism, Lee’s Books for Cameroon project is seeking both English and French-language resources. Books for Africa will provide English language books as part of Phase I. In Phase II, the group will collaborate with the French organization l’AESCO (Aide à l’Équipement Scolaire et Culturel) to provide French language books.
The Books for Cameroon fundraising campaign is hosted through Peace Corps Partnership, a program within the Peace Corps that allows individuals to contribute to volunteer projects.
For more information about Lee’s Books for Cameroon project or to make a contribution, please visit http://tiny.cc/booksforcameroon.