Bajze Library and School Project

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Did you ever attend story hour at the county or community library, spend countless hours of your youth browsing the shelves at a library, read every Judy Bloom book, or spent hours researching term papers in a library? Now imagine that resource never existed.

We (Art and I) are actively working with Int'l Book Project to bring over a shipment of books for the near empty school libraries here in Bajzë, Albania. We toured the school libraries with the local school administration. It was very sad some scholastic books were decades old, tattered, covers and pages missing and the shelves were barely stocked.

The nearest community library is in the capital, Tirana, 2 hours by car and most would have to take a bus to travel that far so closer to 4 hours. Reading is the weakest subject in Albania, the EU Ministry of Education and Sports in cooperation with UNICEF, is promoting the ‘Albania Reads’ initiative to improve the country’s performance in reading.

As many people have transitioned to e-readers or the Kindle app on a phone, access for the 450 school aged children is very limited. Most households don't have a working computer, internet or cell phones for the children. So books in hand are crucial to swing the learning curve in a positive direction and inspire the next generation.

While Albania’s economy continues to grow, its total government expenditure is the lowest in Southeastern Europe with only 3% of its budget allocated to education and 3.7% to health. Our local teachers furnish everything for their classrooms including desks, chairs, computers, projectors and scholastic materials. The teacher's dedication to the youth is astounding, they provide so much for their classrooms and students.

Our fundraising goal is $15,000 this breaks down to:

Approximately 5,941 Books donated by the Int'l Book Project

Shipment from US to Albania = $4627

Port fees, taxes and shipping in Albania = approximately $3800

New Projectors/cost of shipping for the classrooms = $2500

Two Laptops/catalog software for the School Librarians = $2000

New shelving, two rolling book carts and paint for the libraries = $2073

We are actively looking for local businesses and community leaders to assist with fundraising but I hope my friends, family and neighbors back home can help support literacy and our rural community teachers.

How can you help? Donate today via PayPal using the Donate button or via VenMo @HomesteadAlbania.

Our goal is to have the project fully funded by April 30th. Thanks in advance for your support!

Science Teacher provided everything but building structure including the table and chairs.

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