Imagine if in your child’s classroom there weren’t enough books for the children to read together, or that there were no books at all. This is the situation Nick Johnson found years ago while helping build a school dormitory in Uganda. It was from his firsthand experience in Uganda, a chance meeting with social activist Anita Roddick, and his participation with Landmark that his idea for Pelican Post was born.
The mission of Pelican Post, a thriving charitable enterprise in the U.K., is to inspire and educate young minds in Africa by providing a channel for people to send books directly to schools in African countries. The aim is to provide the schools with sets of books for entire classrooms from a carefully selected list of culturally-appropriate stories that reflect the children’s lives. People donate a specific book directly to a specific school—Pelican Post actively supports 14 schools in 6 African countries (and is growing).
Johnson’s ambition is to create a global online community where individuals are able to measure the collective impact that their contribution has had on a school. So far, it appears to be working. Pledges to send books come from all over the world, and the donors hear back from children from all over Africa –Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Ghana—who receive their books. A teacher shared about one of her students who had never opened a parcel before, “He wouldn’t speak for quite a few moments while he read the first few pages of a book…then a huge grin. What a lovely moment!”