Literacy: Kofi Annan

Recently, I was on the United Nations Website as I know that the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has long been a strong supporter of literacy to combat poverty worldwide.

I was surprised to find in his Executive Summary of the Millenium Report: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century, an alarming chapter on the environment.

In addition to freedom from want and from fear, Mr. Annan writes, the world now faces an urgent need to realize a third freedom, which the UN’s founders could not have anticipated: “the freedom of future generations to sustain their lives on this planet”.  He continues, “We have been plundering our children’s heritage to pay for environmentally unsustainable practices in the present.”

Environmental sustainability is everybody’s challenge.  I am very proud of the fact that Better World Books philosophy is congruent with Kofi Annan’s plea to protect the health of our planet.  We have saved more than 1,200 tons  (over 5 million pounds) of books from the landfill….and we have never thrown one book away.

We couldn’t have achieved this without our student organizations taking the lead on campus.  It’s amazing to think that at a University with an undergraduate enrollment of 5,000 students…and each student has, on average, 5 college books with an ISBN # in a given semester…..there are 25,000 books that could be used to help others.  Donating a textbook is such a simple, yet powerful way to make a difference!

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