Julia Lowe, Anna Spessard and Anisa Ghadrshenas undergraduate student from the University of Washington spent their last semester doing much more the school work – they raised funds to purchase over 25,000 books to distribute to schools around Ghana. The group of students from the United States established an organization that asks college students at the University of Washington to donate their used textbooks at the end of the year. The organization collects the books and sells them to a company that in turn provides texts that are shipped to Africa.
The undergraduate students from the United States will be working with Ashesi students over the next two months to help distribute books to 24 primary and secondary schools throughout Ghana. In addition, 2,000 current college level texts on the subjects of Business and Computer Science will be donated to Ashesi's library collection.
The University of Washington students chose to work with Ashesi University as their primary contact after learning more about the school’s mission and vision. Ashesi students are required to complete a minimum of 36 hours of community service before graduation. A community service requirement helps students develop a sense of citizenship by giving them an opportunity to have a positive impact on their surrounding community. Ashesi students will help organize and sort the books as well as distribute them to villages in places as far away as the North Eastern Region.
Asked why they decided to spend their time and energy distributing books in Ghana, Julia, one of the American student said, " we believe helping to increase access to education gives people a foundation to make the best decisions for themselves and their community. Education they say is the key to development."