[ Sabre Foundation Home ][ Archive ][ 1999 Annual Report ] [ Previous ][ Contents ][ Next ]

Sabre Foundation: An Overview

Sabre Foundation was founded in 1969 by a group of recent American university graduates, with the double aim of examining the philosophical underpinnings of free institutions and working to enhance their vitality. These goals led to an early emphasis on domestic public policy issues. Initially looking inward at the American polity, Sabre took on projects centering on issues such as expanded property ownership, a volunteer army, free trade and enterprise zones, and citizen empowerment at local levels.

A natural outgrowth of its long-standing program of philosophical conferences and publications, Sabre’s Scientific Assistance Project was formed in 1986 as a practical application of the many lessons learned from the Foundation’s conceptual examination of free institutions. The project’s name follows the practice, common in Eastern Europe, of referring to any disciplined branch of knowledge as "science".

For much of the past 15 years, the centerpiece of the Scientific Assistance Project has been Sabre’s international Book Donation Program. Partnering with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), libraries, universities, schools, research organizations and similar institutions at home and abroad, Sabre has made millions of dollars’ worth of donated new books and educational materials available to needy individuals in more than 60 countries. Focusing on developing and transitional societies, Sabre’s book program took root first in Central and Eastern Europe, expanding later to countries in the former Soviet Union, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

By the end of 1999, over 200 American and European publishers had participated in Sabre’s book program. All told, Sabre has donated some 3.7 million books, mostly English-language and valued at more than $105 million. Packaged in twenty- and forty-foot ocean shipping containers, often holding as many as 20,000 books, Sabre’s shipments have included material on subjects ranging from economics and business to computer science and the Internet to law, social science, literature and medicine.

Through its partnerships with NGOs around the globe, Sabre came to understand the need in countries in transition to take better advantage of rapidly developing electronic communication and information tools. Building on the success of its book program, in 1998 Sabre established an Internet Training Center at its Cambridge offices.

Sabre’s Internet Training Workshops help individuals improve their access to information resources and their ability to use these resources effectively. The workshops cater to such specialized needs as those of librarians, teachers, students, trainers, scholars, entrepreneurs and NGO personnel. Sabre customizes its services to reflect a trainee’s background and specific infrastructure issues in the trainee’s home country. Participants from countries as geographically diverse as Kenya, Mongolia and Ukraine have trained at Sabre’s Cambridge facility. Sabre staff have also traveled abroad to provide training on-site.

The philosophical concerns that inspired the creation of Sabre continue to ground the Foundation’s work. Looking ahead, the further growth of its Book Donation, Internet Training and other programs are goals dependent on the clarity of Sabre’s philosophical mission. With this in mind, Sabre’s intellectual programs have continued under the Philosophy of Institutions Project. Nourishing the spirit of its founding, Sabre Foundation continues to sharpen its "cutting edge" in the new millennium.

[ Sabre Foundation Home ][ Archive ][ 1999 Annual Report ] [ Previous ][ Contents ][ Next ]