"English is seen here as 'the key to a thousand doors.'" says Mark Zober, Peace Corps Country Director in Mongolia. "Yet teachers and students do not have access to English-language books."
Sabre Foundation, Inc. helps political reformers, scholars, students and school children around the world access education materials that, because of cost, are not normally available . Sabre's book donation program has expanded from programs in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to include programs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Ghana, Grenada, India, Mongolia, Tanzania, West Bank/Gaza, and Zambia. To date, Sabre has shipped nearly three million books to over 50 countries.
Working in tandem with Sabre's Book Donation Programs, the Library and Information Technology Services (LITS) project provides customized training in Internet and information technologies both in the U.S. and, as funding allows, in-country. Sabre's new training center in Cambridge, Mass., is equipped to provide tutorials tailored to participants' professional needs, level of computer expertise and command of the English language.
Photos: (Left) Grenadians inspect a donation of the World Book Encyclopedia. (Right) Ukrainian students during an Internet training session.
Sabre solicits donations of books, journals and other technical and educational materials. More than 200 publishers, as well as numerous scholars and institutions have donated new texts and special collections. Sabre places private libraries, and estate donations with appropriate institutions abroad. These special collections have significantly enhanced library holdings in many countries. (Tax incentives exist for some donations.)
In each country where it is active, Sabre has established a partnership with a nongovernmental organization that distributes the donated materials. These partners are also responsible for conveying the book priorities of their countries so that Sabre can solicit materials in relevant fields.
Often utilizing electronic mail, partners select titles and quantities from lists of texts available at Sabre's warehouse. The materials are typically shipped in forty-foot sea containers, holding on average 20,000 volumes.
Partner organizations distribute the materials through countrywide networks of schools, universities, libraries, research institutes, and hospitals. In this way, thousands of institutions and hundreds of thousands of individuals have obtained books through Sabre.
Photo: Processing a shipment -- Bulgaria.
THOSE SABRE SERVES
In the countries it serves, Sabre is working to meet the needs of schoolchildren, college students, scholars and professionals for English-language texts. Sabre Foundation has established ongoing programs in:
|Bosnia & Hercegovina||Latvia|
|India (Tibtan Refugee Schools)||Zambia|
In cooperation with other organizations, Sabre has sent books to Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, the former East Germany, Eritrea, Georgia, Kenya, Nepal, People's Republic of China, Romania, Slovenia, and Uganda, and, with the Peace Corps, to twenty countries in Africa and Asia.
In response to demand, Sabre is currently developing new programs in Liberia and South Africa.
Sabre has initiated a number of programs to provide access to new information technologies.INTERNET-RELATED PROGRAMS
U.S.-Based Training: Participants experience firsthand the benefits of public access to information. Sessions are customized for each participant.
In-Country Training: Sabre trains participants at various levels and interests identifying appropriate materials and adapting sessions to local conditions.
Training of Trainers: To meet the needs of non-specialists, Sabre has devised a "training of trainers" module to train specialists in developing Internet-based training sessions for various audiences.
Sabre staff and consultants work with overseas institutions to develop library collections and technical services, as well as advise in the application of information technology.
Sabre's Internet-based archive contains a variety of bibliographic and full-text documents on Ukraine.
Reduced Cost Purchase. Some materials -- dictionaries and English-teaching texts, for example -- are rarely donated. Sabre has negotiated substantial discounts for the purchase of such materials, which it extends to other non-profit organizations. In response to increasing demand, Sabre is also able to supply CD-ROMs at reduced cost.
Translation and Publication. Sabre has assisted local publishers in acquiring translation and publication rights for practical business texts.
Intellectual Programs. Sabre sponsors international conferences and publications devoted to the philosophy and practice of free institutions. The book donation project grew out of these programs and exemplifies Sabre's dedication to free inquiry.
Sabre sends only those books that partner organizations have chosen, ensuring that the texts are relevant to recipients.
Sabre continues to expand its donor base of commercial publishers, university presses, professional societies, and research institutes.
Sabre can provide new, multiple copies of titles which can be used in classrooms nationwide.
Sabre can account for the books it sends. Partners maintain computerized distribution records and are experienced in managing the receipt of shipments, minimizing difficulties at customs.
To extend the reach of its programs, Sabre cooperates with a variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious associations, service clubs, professional organizations, and technical assistance and training groups, both in the United States and abroad.
Sabre's electronically-based services complement and work in tandem with its book donation programs.
Photo: Receiving books -- Ukraine
HOW SABRE IS FUNDED
Sabre Foundation is a public charity established in 1969. Its ongoing programs depend on the support of individuals, grant-making foundations, associations, corporations and government agencies. The impact of financial support is amplified by donated and reduced-cost services and the work of dedicated volunteers.
One major supporter calls Sabre's book program the most cost-effective of the more than one hundred projects his family foundation has supported.
Sabre is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and is registered as a Private Voluntary Organization with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Contributions are tax-deductible.
World Wide Web: URL: http://www.sabre.org/
Document Updated: January, 1998