Press Release

January, 1998
CONTACT: Colin McCullough, Sabre Foundation (617) 868-3510


Early in the new year, a total of 46,199 new donated books shipped from the ports of Seattle, Boston, and Elizabeth, New Jersey arrived at docks in India, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Ultimately, they are bound for the hands of Tibetan schoolchildren, Ukrainian students, Bulgarian medical researchers, and many others whom the Sabre Foundation of Cambridge, Mass., the largest donor of books to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, assists through its book donation program.

Most of the 12,000 plus books received in Ukraine will be distributed by Sabre's long-standing partner, Sabre-Svitlo. In addition, this shipment creates cross-cultural links between a number of colleagues and organizations in related fields: the Eurasia Foundation donated 350 economics books and journals to the University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, which also received 600 volumes on feminism and gender studies from a Fulbright scholar; the Modern Language Association contributed over 400 books of literature, linguistics, and folklore; the World Congress of the Ukrainian Medical Associations is enriching Ukraine's National Medical Library; scholars throughout the U.S. and Canada have made a gift of 3,750 books to the Lviv Theological Academy; and the list goes on. Donations to Ukraine include computer texts, books for children, and a variety of works in the areas of art and film, history, political science, and others.

Sabre's shipment to India meets the needs of Tibetan refugee children and will be distributed through one of Sabre's partners in India, the Tibetan Children's Educational and Welfare Fund. This donation follows an earlier shipment to the Tibetan Children's Villages Schools in India. Upon receiving the books, predominantly from World Book publishers, Sonam Yangzom of Tibetan Children's Villages wrote, "These books are really good, . . . the best we have had." The Educational and Welfare Fund has also received a large number of World Book educational materials including Young Scientist Encyclopedia, 200 sets of dictionaries, medical encyclopedias, and other reference works. Also included were Simon & Schuster books on various subjects children find fascinating, including "animal books for lower grade children," specially requested by the recipients.

The Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia, Bulgaria has received 20,984 books in its 11th shipment from Sabre, which includes university-level texts from 27 publishers on education, psychology, economics, literature and language, law, human rights, business, medicine, history, and computer science.

Funding for these shipments was made possible by the United States Information Agency, the U.S. Agency of International Development's Ocean Freight Reimbursement Program, Cultural Survival's Tibet Project of Cambridge, Mass., which contributed to the India shipment, and the Open Society Fund in Sofia which matched USIA funds for the Bulgaria shipment.

Sabre has sent almost three million books to people in need from over 50 countries around the world. Previously focusing on college-level and professional materials, Sabre has broadened its procurement efforts to include elementary textbooks, classroom materials and children's books. CD ROMs and reference materials have also been in high demand. Sabre works primarily in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and has begun to establish new programs in Brazil, Grenada, Ghana, the West Bank/Gaza, and the Historically Black Universities of South Africa.

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