Cuttington University in Liberia: Starting from Zero

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Liberia with others from Better World Books and Books for Africa . Liberia is a small country in West Africa that has been through horrific civil war for 14 years before finally re-establishing peace in 2003. Needless to say, just about every institution in the country is starting from zero, slowly building back up, and that includes their universities.

Cuttington University (map) is a rural 4-year university in Liberia . It is the oldest coed 4-year university in West Africa , considered by many to be the country’s most prestigious institution of higher education. It also happens to be quite close to the farm of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia who is currently on trial at the International Court of Justice in the Hague .

So here’s what I mean about “starting from zero”… four years ago, this prestigious university had no roofs on its buildings and no books in its library. The campus was ransacked during the wars… most of the books in the library were burned as fuel for fires.

Our group was able to meet with leaders from the university and hear their needs. Better World Books has committed to funding, through Books for Africa, the shipment of two 40-foot sea containers full of books (that’s 80,000 books) to Liberia for the country’s universities.

Cuttington is in dire need of books, so Liberia ’s brightest minds can be educated to help pull this country out of war-ravaged poverty. I think I speak for everyone at Better World Books when I say that we’re honored to be helping Cuttington.


  1. Good to hear to that!

  2. How can I donate books to the university?

  3. Hi Fanique,
    In order to donate to the University directly, you’d have to contact Books for Africa. We primary serve as a source of funding for BFA, but we also will send books across that aren’t suitable for sale in the US (usually older editions).

    If you want to raise money for them via your books, talk to us, if you want to donate directly talk to BFA. Chances are it’s our money that will allow your donations to ship!

  4. sounds great, well done…

  5. Heathclyff says:

    Hi folks

    Once again, this is a good reason for all of us bibliophiles to make our purchases via Better World Books. I am really glad to be a customer of BWB and can emphathise with how the good folks of Cuttington University must be feeling.

    Keep up the good work, and may our world become a better one what with the projects undertaken by BWB and BFA.

  6. Mama Sandra Simmons says:

    The Liberian Literacy Foundation can also help. It is a grassroots organization run by E. V. Helb, a Liberian native, who has formed an incredible network of over 2000 American Universities who are not only donating books, but selling books to fund electricity via windmills, and even a network for internet service! Check out its site; it is an incredible program and the shipping of books is covered by Alibris. The Foundation was also recently endorced by ONE!

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