Newsletter #2, May 2016

STOP PRESS – REPORT FROM LESOTHO: Public Eye Online reports on the latest book distribution with a great story and photos! Click on the link: NEWS

Since the formation of Books for Lesotho Inc. on 06 December 2015 some significant things have happened …

SHIPMENT FOR 2016:

The annual shipment this year will be the first under the new organisation. On Friday 29 April, packing the first pallet of 15 boxes for 5 primary schools was completed at our partners, South Pacific School Aid. In our own “shed”, we have finished sorting the books that were donated from the annual Westminster School Fair. We have added the suitable ones to donations from other sources, including those recognised under “Our Friends” on our website.

We plan to ship at least 7 pallets this year, it being the last of the second 5-year cycle of distributions by our partner in Lesotho, Transformation Resource Centre (TRC). Next year a new group of schools will be selected to start a library.

DIGITAL PRESENCE:

Our website, www.booksforlesotho.org, has been launched. Please have a look!

We also have a Facebook page: www.facebook.com./booksforlesotho. Please have a look and “Like” us.

GOVERNANCE:

Books for Lesotho Inc. now has an ABN and TFN and a bank account. An opportunity to donate via the website and using a credit card will be available soon. We have applied for DGR status which will allow donors to claim tax-deductibility for their contributions. We will advise you of any change in our status.

OUR PLANS:

Currently we are preparing materials suitable for use in those schools that elect to conduct a book drive in support of the project. We intend to invite financial support based on the costs of getting the donated book to Lesotho. One idea is to promote “A Book and A Buck” (we need about 30c/book to cover the shipment costs – see below).

VISIT TO LESOTHO IN MARCH

Founders and Board Members, David and Liz, together with daughter, Fiona, and grand-daughter Niav (who is also a member of the Board) visited Lesotho. The visit coincided with the annual book distribution by TRC. This year TRC visited schools to deliver the books and look at their use in the school. It was a great experience for the four, even though David and Liz had made such visits previously. Check out the images and videos here.

INVITATION TO A PROJECT PRESENTATION:

In January, David and Liz hosted two opportunities to hear first-hand from them about the project and to share with them some of the time they have spent in Lesotho. They will host another session at their home in Mitcham SA, on Monday 27 June 2016 commencing at 7.30 pm. Bookings are essential due to limited space. Please book using linnd@bigpond.net.au or 08 83731224.

WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?

GIVE BOOKS – We are accepting fiction and non-fiction books (new or used – but only in good condition) suitable for first readers up to Year 12 level. Information on what is suitable and what is not can be found here.

DONATE – Donations can be made through our bank account: please note your name and advise us by email (until we develop an automatic system). Banking details: Books for Lesotho Inc. Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), BSB 035-044  Account No: 228285

SPONSORSHIP – We are seeking sponsors to help cover printing costs for publicity material for use in schools (see OUR PLANS above). Please contact us if you want to know more.

FINANCIALS:

Record of the project (pre-Incorporation ) is shown in the following table and related information.

YEAR OF SHIPMENT NUMBER OF BOOKS NUMBER OF PALLETS DONATION

INCOME

TOTAL COST COST/ PALLET COST/ BOOK
2007 4,700 4 $2,907 $2,847 $712 60.6c
2008 6,406 3 $2,207 $2,109 $703 32.9c
2009 8,344 3 $3,315 $3,221 $1073 38.6c
2010 9,431 5 $3,717 $3,186 $743 33.8c
2011 12,469 6 * $4,005 $4,618 n.a. n.a.
2011 Our books only 5.45 (est) n.a. $3,938 $723 31.6c
2012 11,598 6 $4,111 $3,919 $653 33.8c
2013 7,344 5 $4,343 $3,683 $737 50.1c
2014 12,340 6 $4,795 $5,143 ** n.a. n.a.
2014 Our books only 6 n.a. $3,977 $663 32.2c
2015 16,285 7 $4,680 $3,980 $569 28.8c

* including 10 computers
** including purchase of 140 books from Help Lesotho (Canada)

 

TOTAL INCOME FROM DONATIONS                                       = $34,078

TOTAL COST OF PROJECT TO JANUARY 2016                        = $32,706

(2015 figures include estimates of donations and the costs of shipping 2015 consignment)

PROJECT SURPLUS TO DATE                      = $1,372 (Will be donated to Books for Lesotho Inc.)

 

TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS TO DATE                                  = 88,917

(plus 10 computers, wall posters, various board games (and the like), jigsaw puzzles, pens, pencils, rulers, staplers, blank paper, exercise books, folders, and for filling spaces, issues of National Geographic, Australian Geographic and tennis balls!)

 

The cost breakdown for the 2014 shipment:

  • SPSA (supply of boxes, plastic bags, etc.)                         = $180
  • Local transport costs to wharf                                              = $190
  • Shipping (Adelaide to Durban)                                             = $543

Durban to Maseru (wharf costs, duty, transport and agency fee) = $3,044

 

THE CHALLENGE:

The challenge for Books for Lesotho is to bring to reality the dreams David and Liz have. They are still wondering whether the project can develop into “A Library in Every Primary School in Lesotho”! As there are 2,500 Primary and 250 Secondary/High schools, meeting this dream will depend on ongoing and increased public support. We trust that you will continue to support “Books for Lesotho Inc.” Please ask if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
The Board, Books For Lesotho Inc.

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