Sabre Foundation and Africa
1992 - 2007

By the end of 2007, the Cambridge, MA-based Sabre Foundation has sent close to 2.5 million new books and CD-ROMs—with a fair market value in excess of $100 million—to Africa, with the educational materials selected and distributed by indigenous NGO partner organizations. The books shipped were donated to Sabre by leading U.S. publishers and covered a wide range of subjects and educational levels.

Beginning in 1992 with shipments to Kenya and Uganda, Sabre’s Book Donation Program in Africa has sent educational materials to Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Sabre also endeavors to assist indigenous publishing in Africa by purchasing Africansourced books for distribution through Sabre’s partner organizations. In 2005/06, with funding provided by UNESCO, Sabre purchased $20,000 worth of books published by member presses of the African Book Collective, represented in the U.S. by Michigan State University Press.

As part of its ongoing commitment to Africa, Sabre has also organized ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) workshops in Ghana and Tanzania for its African partner organizations. These workshops provided “hands-on” training and in-depth discussion of topics such as best practices, publishing, and program evaluation.

Sabre Foundation’s Book Donation Program is characterized by the exceptional quality of Sabre’s inventory and a network of knowledgeable, resourceful and motivated partners in the field. Rather than trying to send as many books as possible, Sabre gives its partners the opportunity to select books and CD-ROMs from detailed inventory offering lists. Only titles and quantities requested by its partners are shipped by Sabre. Sabre’s rule-of-thumb is that something which is of no value in the U.S. is usually equally valueless overseas. In 2006, Sabre commissioned an external evaluation of its book program, focusing on Sierra Leone and Indonesia. Key findings included not only the high quality of the books sent, but also their importance to the development of education, literacy and learning in the countries served. Since 1986, Sabre has donated close to 8 million new books, CD-ROMs and other educational materials, valued at more than $250 million, to over 80 countries worldwide.

February 2008

 

Sabre Foundation and Shipments to Arab/Muslim Countries: 2002 - 2007

From 2002 through 2007, the Cambridge, MA-based Sabre Foundation has sent over 417,000 new books and other educational materials — with a fair market value of over $15M — to Arab and/or Muslim countries. Beginning in 2002 with shipments to Afghanistan, Algeria and Kyrgyzstan, the Book Donation Program expanded to include Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and, most recently, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. The books and other educational materials are donated to Sabre by leading U.S. commercial and academic publishers and cover a wide range of subjects and educational levels. They are selected and distributed incountry by indigenous NGO partner organizations.

The books selected by NGO partners in these countries included the following subject areas: Agriculture; American Studies; Art & Film; Business; Computer Science; Ecology/Environment; Economics; Education; Engineering; English Language & Literature; History; Human Rights; Law; Library & Reference; Mathematics; Media; Medicine; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Science; and Social Sciences, as well as books and educational materials for children. In addition to new books and CD-ROMs, recent shipments to Iraq included two “mirror sites” (hard drives) provided by MIT’s OpenCourseWare for Iraqi universities. OpenCourseWare is a large-scale, Web-based electronic publishing site providing free, searchable access to syllabi and other materials for all of MIT’s undergraduate courses, available to educators, students, and selflearners around the world.

Sabre Foundation’s Book Donation Program is characterized by the exceptional quality of Sabre’s inventory and a network of knowledgeable, resourceful and motivated partners in the field. Rather than trying to send as many books as possible, Sabre gives its partners the opportunity to select books and CD-ROMs from detailed inventory offering lists. Only titles and quantities requested by its partners are shipped by Sabre. Sabre’s rule-of-thumb is that something which is of no value in the U.S. is usually equally valueless overseas. In 2006, Sabre commissioned an external evaluation of its book program, focusing in particular on Sierra Leone and Indonesia. Key findings included not only the high quality of the books sent, but also their importance to the development of education, literacy and learning in the countries served.

Since 1986, Sabre has donated close to 8 million new books, CD-ROMs and other educational materials, valued at more than $250 million, to over 80 countries worldwide.

January 2008