Books collected for Kenya

Monica Frost and Monica Frost

The African People’s Association, an on-campus student organization, is using the month of February to collect books for the citizens of Nairobi, Kenya.

The book drive, which is being held in honor of Black History Month, has been collecting books since the beginning of February and will continue until the end of the month.

Books can be donated at drop-off stations that are located at the front desk areas of all residence halls on campus, excluding greek housing.

Habib Iddrisy, the president of APA, said the response to the book drive has been unbalanced across campus.

“We’ve been checking,” Iddrisy said of the drop-off stations. “Some places have books, and some have zero.” At the end of the month, the collected books will be shipped to an organization in Kenya that deal with the prevention of domestic violence. From there, the books will be distributed amongst libraries.

Apollos Nwauwa, an assistant professor of ethnic studies and the faculty advisor of APA, explained the advantages of donating books instead of options such as food or clothes.

“The best gift you can give is knowledge,” Nwauwa said. “One must take into consideration the fact that the books available in the West are not available there [Kenya].”

“I think it’s simple in that if you can use books to begin with, you can do other things,” Iddrisy said.

Nwauwa said APA wants to make the collected books “accessible to the people.” He also said APA hopes the donated books will pass on the concept of scholarship.

The APA plans on making their book drive an annual event and said that next year collected books might go to a different African country.

The APA has been at the University since about 1970 and currently has approximately 40 members. The organization is open to students interested in the development of Africa as well as African affairs.

In addition to the ongoing book drive, the APA is also organizing activities for ‘African Week’, which is March 24-30. Just a few examples of these upcoming activities are a marathon run around campus, speakers, artists, an African concert and dinner.

Editor’s Note: For more info. on the book drive, the APA or upcoming activities contact Kapinga Ngandu at (419) 372-8277.