Improving Secondary Education in Tanzania and Beyond with Every Donation & Shipment
Bookfriends was first conceived in 2004, after our founders Steve and Paulie Kutschat returned from a trip to Tanzania. They had seen, first-hand, the intense desire of students to learn and the sorry lack of books in schools and libraries. And so, the mission of improving secondary education in Tanzania was born, but it has reached far beyond the borders of Tanzania and expanded into other regions of Africa. A few hundred textbooks donated by Wauconda, Illinois schools were packaged and shipped in 16 boxes to three secondary schools in Tanzania which the Kutschats had visited.
There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
The mission soon grew into the need for more space. Bookfriends moved to two garages and processed the second shipment of 60 boxes of books. Those texts and library books were sent to another three schools to help improve secondary education in Tanzania. Being encouraged through information that those books had arrived safely and had brought joy and hope to the students and teachers, it became obvious that Bookfriends had to find a larger space for year-round work. A warehouse in Wauconda was secured in 2007. Moving to the new space was a huge but very happy task. Bookfriends was assisted in the transfer of all those books and shelving by the Lake Zurich, Illinois Boy Scout Troop and leaders.
Since then Bookfriends has sent complete sets of textbooks and libraries to 173 schools. Now, more than 180,000 young hearts and minds have been empowered to face the future with real hope.
We are grateful to our incredible donors and volunteers. Together, we will continue to make a very significant impact in thousands of lives. You might say the history of Bookfriends International is a “living history”.