Foundation was founded in 1969 by a group of recent American university
graduates with the aim of examining the philosophical underpinnings of free
institutions and working to enhance their vitality. This goal was manifested
in an early emphasis on domestic public policy issues.
Sabre's Book Donation Program was initiated in 1986 as an outgrowth of its philosophical programs, beginning in Poland and Hungary. By the early 1990's programs had been set up in a number of countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, including Croatia and Ukraine where Sabre still remains active. As the decade progressed and the economies of Eastern Europe improved, the programs in that region were gradually phased out. Sabre then refocused its efforts towards sub-Saharan Africa, where the Foundation now has ongoing book donation programs in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. The new millennium saw yet more geographic expansion, as Sabre programs were established in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq (Kurdistan Region), Lebanon, Vietnam, Palestine and Vietnam.
Since those first shipments to Poland and Hungary, Sabre has shipped in association with overseas partner organizations close to $250 million worth of new books and other educational materials to more than 80 countries. Most of the books are new college- and professional-level titles: high school, elementary and pre-school materials are also held in inventory. The books are in English, invariably the second language of choice in countries where English is not already an official language. In addition to books, Sabre holds CD-ROMS that cover many subject areas. Sabre has also provided IT and computer training to partner organizations enabling them to take advantage of new technologies as a complement to more traditional media.
In addition to partnering with indigenous NGOs overseas, Sabre has also worked collaboratively with numerous organizations in North America. These include: Association of American University Presses; Books for Asia; CODE; Foundation for West Africa; Harvard Committee for Iraqi Libraries: Indiana University Center for International Education and Development Assistance; Library of Congress; MIT OpenCourseWare; Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia; Ukrainian Research Institute; and World Vision. Sabre has also been a major supplier of educational materials for Peace Corps projects throughout the world.