Guest Post: YALI visits Better World Books

Last week, Better World Books had the privilege to host a group of students who are part of The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) sponsored by the United States Department of State. The initiative was launched in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across Africa. Each year, the University of Notre Dame hosts one of the classes. The students visited the Better World Books Indiana distribution center, and one of the students, Adrienne Irma Rabemanantsoa, wrote an account her experience learning about Better World Books.

Visit at the Better World Books, June 22, 2016

Written by: Adrienne Irma Rabemanantsoa (AIR)- Entrepreneur from Madagascar

Snapchat-6702862459205025510The first time I saw we were going to visit a company named Better World Books in our agenda, I just said to myself ‘’Well, we’re gonna visit a bookstore. (No excitement, no particular feeling, just normal) Maybe this is among the best companies around, or Maybe its owner just offered to welcome us.’’ Then, when I read the description, I understood it was a website. I visited [the website], was quite impressed but did not really have an idea of how [the company] worked. Then the next day, we were having a lecture by David Murphy, one of Better World Books’ cofounders. I started to feel this was something uncommon. I had tears in my eyes when he told the Better World Books story: the beginning, the mission. I was really impressed by its social component and asked lots of questions during the session. But still, I thought it was too great to be real. However, I felt curious and quite excited at the idea of visiting it—at least, more excited than I was when I first saw that in the agenda.

When we arrived at the headquarters, the first thing I saw was the green drop-boxes outside. There were a so many of them!!! Then we entered and had a picture in this big chair made of books. Then we were welcome in a conference room. People were so nice. But the best part of it was the tour. I’ve NEVER seen that many books in my lifetime. It was a thrilling experience. I couldn’t believe it was real. And AGAIN, I had tears in my eyes when I remembered it all started with nothing in the Notre Dame Campus. At that time, they made several bike rides to ship the books in the post office and now they’re shipping tons of books a week. Two words to end: INCREDIBLE—INSPIRING.

Learn more about YALI by visiting their website. Also, check out this post from similar visit two years ago. We would like to thank Adrienne for taking the time to share her experience with us.


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