Over Two Million Books At BookSmart Launch In South Africa

Young Girls Reading From Donated Books At Launch Event

On Sept. 19, 2003, the Durban Exhibition Center in Durban, South Africa was filled wall to wall with children, national leaders and corporations that witnessed the launch of over two million books at the Fourth Annual South Africa BookSmart Foundation National Book Launch (SABF).

The day started out with a medley of singing, then viewing of book displays and ended with an awards ceremony to honor corporations that helped sponsor the book launch and the efforts of South Africa BookSmart Foundation.

Over two thousand people, including more than 700 children, attended this very special event that helps the advancement of  educational resources on the continent. In many instances, the books sent by SABF have been the sole source of educational resources and academic materials available to students, teachers and community resource centers in many townships and rural schools in Africa. Books are distributed to schools and communities free of charge via local resource centers located in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

All who attended the program had a  phenomenal experience. Dr. Sarah Moton, Coordinator & Chief of the Education Division - USAID, who attended the book launch said, “Books are the most powerful gift  given to mankind. This is an event too wonderful for words.” According to Monica Mngadi, Managing Director of the South Africa BookSmart Foundation (Durban Office), “The distribution of these books promotes literacy for South Africa’s children and its neighbor countries. Avid readers always make successes of themselves. Books give knowledge and knowledge is power.”

As of September 2003, over four million books were delivered to the continent by BookSmart. This is something that could not be done without the help of corporate sponsors. We appreciate their help and honor them for their commitment to increase literacy efforts.”

Invited guests included His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, Mayor of Ethekweni; the Honorable Obed MlabaUnity, Minister of Education; Charles Dlamini and the Provincial Ministry of Education; Narend Singh.

Corporate sponsors were Republic Waste Management, BMW, BP Southern Africa, Crown Trophy, US Dept. of Education, Kwa Zulu Natal, Duke Energy, Engen, IGA, Johnson Controls, Inc., Nandos, Office Depot, Pick’n Pay, Sara Lee/Kiwi & Playtex, USAID and Wachovia.

A special thanks goes to all of the supporters of South Africa BookSmart Foundation for their financial and in-kind contributions.