Billy is a former campus rep for University of Miami (and former high school teammate of Blog Editor, Jack Hanlon) who is now at the receiving end of our literacy efforts in Tanzania. He met up with our group of BWB employees who visited Africa this summer and wrote this heartfelt note to share his experience with us all.
“Oftentimes we never fully realize the global impact we can have from what we do on our college campuses. We brought Better World Books to UM in Fall 2003, and in the four semesters I oversaw the bookdrives we brought in over 12,000 books to go towards Books for Africa. At the time, I thought collecting books to benefit schools and students in the developing world was “a nice thing to do.” Little did I know at the time that after graduating in May 2005, I would accept a two-year volunteer teaching position at a high school in one of the poorest parts of Tanzania, East Africa. The school I teach at now is a recipient of books from BWB and BFA. Living and teaching here has made me fully understand how important the work of these organizations and the students at college campuses who coordinate these efforts truly are. For my students, providing them with books no longer seems as though it is simply a “nice thing to do;” it is the means to provide better education, to overcome poverty, and to have hope for a brighter future. For us on this side of the globe, it means a world of difference. Thank you to everyone who is giving us such hope. We are forever grateful.”
— Billy Bludgus
Butler Volunteer Services Center
University of Miami