Sabre Expands Book Programs to New Countries
- Michael W. Christian Honored
Information Technologies Training Services Launched
- Needs Assessment at the St. Volodymyr the Great Gymnasium
1997 Book Shipments Total $9 Million
Focus on Bosnia-Herzegovina
Reduced-Cost Purchases Aid Medical Training
Funding Sources: Changes and Diversification
Map: Sabre Initiatives Around the World
University students in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, unpacking donated sets of World Book Encyclopedia.
"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."
The gap between the demand for English-language texts and their availability in many parts of the world prompted Sabre Foundation's book program to expand beyond its traditional constituencies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in 1996 to include programs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Grenada and Romania. In 1997, Sabre initiated work in India, Mongolia, Tanzania, the West Bank, and Zambia.
Sabre's new programs draw on a diverse inventory that now includes elementary and secondary school books as well as Sabre's long-standing specialty in college, reference, and professional materials. Children's needs are increasingly being met: 10,676 books shipped to India in August went to Tibetan refugee schoolchildren enrolled in the Tibetan Children's Villages schools. A second shipment to Tibetan schools was sent out in October and will be distributed by the Tibetan Children's Welfare and Education Fund. The Tanzania shipment also puts priority on young people, distributing through the Mufindi Educational Trust a wide variety of elementary and high school textbooks as well as World Book reference books and encyclopedias. Along with books for universities and libraries, Sabre's shipment to Mongolia supplied schoolchildren with a variety of books ranging from science texts to storybooks.
Prominent individuals extended their goodwill to make some of these programs possible: First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in a 1996 White House event honoring Sabre's initiatives in Bosnia and Romania asked Sabre to launch a program in Mongolia, giving impetus to that effort. In India, the Dalai Lama's sister, Jetsun Pema, as President of the Tibetan Children's Villages schools, gave her support to Sabre's new program.
Sabre's new and ongoing programs in Africa honor the memory of its former board member, the late Michael W. Christian, the first American lawyer to be admitted to the bar of the East African Federation of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Mr. Christian, who was President of the Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Co., served as the director or trustee of a number of organizations, including the Massachusetts Port Authority, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Emerson Hospital, World Peace Foundation, The John F. Kennedy Library, The Wang Center, and The Atlantic Monthly.
Sabre is accepting reservations for a customized training program in Internet and new information technologies at the Foundation's new training center in Cambridge, MA. Foreign visitors to the U.S. will be able to receive tutorials tailored to their professional needs, level of computer expertise, and command of the English language. During 1998, participants (or more realistically, government and cultural exchange organizations sponsoring their U.S. visits) will pay for their travel to Boston and accommodations. In most cases, Sabre will contribute the costs of training with private support, estimated at $350 a day/trainee. The service is projected to continue in subsequent years on a fee-generating basis.
The Library and Information Technologies Services (LITS) builds on successful experience of the past several years, both in the U.S. and overseas. In 1997, LITS trainees came to Sabre from Lviv Theological Academy and Ivan Franko Lviv State University in Western Ukraine, the Prague Institute of Advanced Studies in the Czech Republic, and medical institutions in Croatia and Slovenia. Ukrainian students at the Harvard University Summer School also participated. Trainees received customized instruction in Internet applications and other information technologies as well as CD-ROM utilization.
Sabre Reference Librarian Rebecca Schneider also traveled to Ukraine to evaluate the effectiveness of a Sabre-Lviv Polytechnic University Internet training project funded by USAID through the Eurasia Foundation. The project produced a Ukrainian-language Introduction to the Internet.
|Adrian Piskozub, Assistant Professor, Automation Mechanics, assists a fellow student at Internet training session held at Lviv Polytechnic University.|
At the request of a donor interested in restoring educational excellence to the St. Volodymyr the Great Gymnasium of Rohatyn, Western Ukraine, Sabre undertook a needs assessment of the secondary school's computer facilities and library collection. Ms. Schneider visited with the schoolchildren, teachers and staff and produced a detailed report assessing the Gymnasium's current state and its critical needs. Her evaluations included an itemized list of each department's basic and optimum needs, as well as the modest žwish listsÓ of teachers of each subject. The donor was very enthusiastic about Sabre's report and responded immediately to the recommendations, asking Sabre to procure computers and educational software as well as a wide range of English-language materials.
In the first 11 months of 1997, 16 containers holding approximately 225,000 books, journals, audiocassettes, videocassettes and CD-ROMs were dispatched to Sabre partner organizations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Ghana (including over 400 current computer books and journals for the Ghana chapter of the Internet Society), Hungary, India, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.
Six more containers are scheduled to leave the Sabre warehouse before year's end, including shipments for the Russian Federation in a joint project with the U.S. Library of Congress and Zambia in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kasama. During the year, Sabre also shipped materials to Ukraine on behalf of the Eurasia Foundation and worked cooperatively in a number of countries with Minneapolis-based Books for Africa and Peace Corps. The projected fair market value of 1997 shipments is approximately $9 million.
In addition to the brand-new educational materials included in the containers, Sabre also ships, on a space-available basis, donations from individuals or institutions which are directed to specific recipient organizations overseas. Notable special collections received or shipped in 1997 included a collection of books on economics from Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and history and philosophy books from Yale Professor Emeritus Jaroslav Pelikan, past President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
|West Bank Shipment: the children's room at the Al-Bireh Municipal Library will be among the recipients of a donation of a 40-foot container. Approximately 20,000 books will go to Sabre's partner, the Center for Advanced International Studies in Ramallah, which requested college-level books, emphasizing business and economics, engineering texts, a wide range of works in the humanities and books for schoolchildren.|
|Sabre Program Officer John Emery next to books being loaded into a container destined for Tibetan refugee schools in India.|
Reconstruction Underway, National and University Library, Sarajevo, June 15, 1997
When shelling destroyed the National and University Library in Sarajevo on August 25 and 26, 1992, some called it the worst book burning incident in world history. This year, 21 university presses made commitments to donate new publications to restore this national treasure. In May, Sabre's second shipment to Bosnia-Herzegovina contained a total of 9,766 books, two copies of all titles in current inventory, donated by Harvard University Press and The MIT Press. The Bosnia program was made possible with funding from the Dusky Foundation of Boston, in memory of William Speer Kuhn III, as well as the Whitehead Foundation of New York and the United States Information Agency. Ocean freight shipping costs were covered by the AID Ocean Freight Reimbursement Program.
Members of the Association of American University Presses donating to Sabre's Bosnia project include:
Beacon Press, University of British Columbia Press, The University of Chicago Press, Harvard University Press, University of Illinois Press, Indiana University Press, University of Iowa Press, The Johns Hopkins University Press, The Kent State University Press, The University Press of Kentucky, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The University of Michigan Press, The MIT Press, The University of North Carolina Press, Northern Illinois University Press, Ohio State University Press, Oxford University Press, Princeton University Press, Southern Illinois University Press, University of Texas Press, and Yale University Press.
|Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian Muslim children together with Enisa Zunic, Director of the National and University Library, Tuzla; Sabre Project Director, Tania Vitvitsky; and Advija Hercegovac, Director, Dom za Nezbrinutu Djecu Orphanage, Slavinovici, Tuzla, June 20, 1997.|
Tania Vitvitsky, Project Director, and Charles Getchell, Secretary, made a visit to Havana in the spring to explore the possibility of establishing a book donation program for the Cuban people.
In November, Steering Committee member John Archibald visited Liberia to assess the feasibility of a book donation program to rebuild schools and universities in this war-torn country. During his visit, Mr. Archibald identified a prospective partner organization in Monrovia.
Following a report on an assessment of book needs at South Africa's "Historically Black Universities" carried out by Book Program Manager Colin McCullough in the fall of 1996, a proposal for a full-scale book donation program was requested earlier this year by the donor who funded the needs assessment. The proposed two-year program which is now under consideration focuses not only on the aforementioned universities but also on South Africa's six "Historically Black Technikons," institutions of higher education with a more vocational focus.
This year Sabre managed two substantial medical book and CD-ROM purchases. Sabre-Zagreb, working with the Croatian Ministry of Science, provided over $45,000 for the purchase of medical CD-ROMs. This led to a U.S.-based training program for CD-ROM and other information technologies in the medical field. With a donation of $100,000 for book purchase from the World Congress of Ukrainian Medical Associations provided by Harry Malynovsky, Sabre has negotiated discounts and is providing shipping expertise and warehousing infrastructure both in the U.S. and Ukraine through Lviv-based Sabre-Svitlo.
|Matjaz Zignon of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, receiving customized Internet training at Sabre's offices.|
Kenneth G. Bartels, Sabre's Treasurer and Vice President, was chosen in February as President of the Board, succeeding Anne Neal who had served with distinction since 1990. Mr. Bartels is President of Paxton Properties Inc., and was formerly in the Corporate Finance Department and Tokyo Office of Morgan Stanley, as well as head of Global Real Estate Equities at Citicorp.
Christopher Bayley, former King County Prosecuting Attorney of the State of Washington, and William F. Clinger, former Congressman from the State of Pennsylvania, were named to Sabre's Board of Directors this year.
Mr. Bayley, a prominent Seattle civic and business leader, was CEO of Glacier Park Company and is now a principal of The Madison Group, Inc. He is a past member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College and a director and trustee of several business and cultural organizations in the Northwest.
Mr. Clinger, a lawyer and former Navy serviceman, was a nine-term member of Congress, 1979-1997, serving on the Government Operations Committee (ranking Republican) and the Public Works and Transportation Committee. He is currently a Fellow at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Roman Procyk, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Studies Fund, joined the Steering Committee. The Ukrainian Studies Fund is a long-term collaborator with Sabre Foundation and Sabre-Svitlo in Lviv.
Sabre Fellow Matthew Lorin completed work at the Office of Democracy of the National Security Council. His work centered on the use of new information technologies to extend American public diplomacy. Frederic R. Kellogg, after teaching at Warsaw University as a Fulbright Scholar, continued his work in legal philosophy as a Sabre Fellow.
At Sabre's Cambridge offices, staff were sorry to lose Muskie Fellow Vadym Kovalyuk of Lviv, who worked as an intern and program assistant in Web document and CD-ROM production as well as in shipment preparation at the Foundation's book warehouse.
As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held confirmation hearings for Secretary of State, Josiah Lee Auspitz contributed an op-ed piece to the Washington Post recalling the crucial financial support of a political science professor in launching the Foundation's Czech and Slovak programs in 1989-1990: Madeleine Albright.
After three years at Sabre, Marta Baziuk, public relations coordinator, left in June to take on a position in Kyiv as director of the press department at the Ukrainian Market Reform Education Program. Her creativity and dedication are missed. Taking Marta's place is Irene Danysh, former lecturer in English at the University of Ghana and recently an instructor of English as a Second Language at the Haitian Multi-Service Center in Boston.
Sabre reports the passing of three valued friends in 1997: Maureen Drummy of Washington, DC; George Meisner of Fairfield, NJ; and Nancy Dickerson Whitehead of New York City.
As The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation leaves Eastern Europe, one of the important legacies of eight years of support for Sabre are highly professional book donation and information technology programs which can be adapted in other countries and regions.
Sabre's expansion into new regions is being matched by a diversification of funding sources: the August shipment to Mongolia was funded by IREX; projects in Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia were funded in part by Books for Africa; and shipments to Tibetan refugee schools in India were funded by Cultural Survival and the Richard Gere Foundation.
With continued support both from Congress and within the agency, USIA has continued its support for Sabre's programs with a 1997 grant of $200,000 matched with funds from private and non-U.S. government sources.
Established partners in Eastern Europe are working jointly with Sabre in fund raising. For example, the September shipment to Bulgaria was funded in part by the Open Society Fund in Sofia as a match to USIA funding.
In addition, family members and friends have remembered their loved ones with memorial funds. Over the past few years, these have included memorials for Mykola Bulba, Dr. Gerald E. Davidson, William Speer Kuhn III, and, most recently, Michael W. Christian.
Sabre's programs attract enthusiastic support from individual donors throughout the U.S. Sabre welcomes the opportunity to highlight the programs these donations support first-hand: one contributor recently traveled from Nevada to visit the Sabre office and warehouse.
Bosnia - Herzegovina
India (Tibetan Refugee Schools)
Former East Germany
Peoples Rep. of China