Oct 16, 2018

Book drive helps rebuild education in Uganda

Twenty-three years of war has devastated the education system in northern Uganda. To help rebuild the standards of secondary schools, Invisible Children has created a program called Schools for Schools.

According to the Invisible Children’s Web site, Schools for Schools is, “a program that addresses the need for improved learning environments and a greater investment in secondary education.”

The on-campus Invisible Children’s club is helping aid the situation in Uganda through working in the Schools for Schools with a book drive.

“We want to help the children in northern Uganda,” said Vera Valdez, president of the Invisible Children’s club. “The children need an education. We feel we can help them obtain one.”

According to Valdez, the club is collecting textbooks, children’s books or any other educational books to send to the Anaka Secondary School. These books will be used to fill the school’s library and may be used in the school’s curriculum.

Valdez said she first realized she wanted to do a book drive at Fresno State after Invisible Children visited in September.

“I wanted to help,” Valdez said.“I’ve seen so many good books thrown away. Something in my gut said I needed to help.”

Alex Taylor, a student who is unaffiliated with the club but works towards the same goal, wants the school to get involved in the book drive.

“I want to collect about 3,000 books,” Taylor said in an e-mail interview.

Taylor also said that some of the books will be sent to Better World Books. From there, the books are sold online and the money will be sent to the Schools for Schools program.

There are three on-campus locations where the club, or Taylor, is collecting books. The first collection bin is located in the Henry Madden Library. The second collection bin is located in the library of the McKee Fisk building. The third collection site is in the Free Speech Area.

The club has an area set-up in the Free Speech Area, where students can gain information about the program and donate their unused educational books.

Sophomore Charlie Turner said he donated a book once he found out what the club was doing and where the books were going.

“One day I was walking through the Free Speech Area, stopped by the table and learned what the Invisible Children’s club was doing,” Turner said. “I wanted to be part of the solution.”

Even though Taylor believes the book drive has started slowly, he has hope that the Fresno State students will reach out and donate more books.

“I’m hoping as the semester draws to a close we can get many students to donate their textbooks,” Taylor said. “The more people we reach out to about this book drive, the easier collecting books will be.”

They will continue to collect books until the end of the semester.

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