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International Book Project to Collect Textbooks for Two Afghanistan Universities

At the end of each semester, UK students go through the ritual of taking final exams and then selling back their textbooks in hopes of getting a little gas money for their drives home. Inevitably, a few books can’t be sold back and usually end up in the trash or the bottom of a bookshelf. It’s those books that the International Book Project (IBP) and the Center for Community Outreach (CCO) need to help college students in Afghanistan.

A book drive will be held across the UK campus during finals week, April 28-May 2, 2008. Boxes will be placed at various locations on campus for students to donate their textbooks. Textbooks donated should be 2000 or newer editions. Books may be dropped off at the following locations: in the main lobby of the UK Student Center (near the UK Bookstore), near Starbucks at the UK Student Center, at the entrances of the White Hall Classroom Building, in the Patterson Office Tower lobby, in the CCO office in the UK Student Center, in 133D Dickey Hall, at Kennedy Bookstore and outside the Medical Library in the Medical Science Building. The books donated will benefit the American University of Afghanistan and Kabul Medical University.

The American University of Afghanistan is a private not-for-profit institution founded in 2006 that receives most of its funding from the United States Agency for International Development. Kabul Medical University has been in existence for several decades, but through previous rule fell on hard times. Both universities are in desperate need of quality higher-education textbooks. IBP’s book shipment will not only provide up-to-date specialized texts for current students, it also will help lay the groundwork for both universities’ future success.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with the University of Kentucky for this book drive,” said Rachel Lewis, executive director of IBP. “UK students have such a philanthropic spirit, and their used college textbooks will give college students in Afghanistan the chance for a better education and future.”

The book drive will help supply these needed educational resources that will directly impact thousands of students seeking professional and doctoral degrees. In addition to other humanitarian aid, the books will provide the practical and theoretical knowledge essential to building strong social, economic and political institutions.

Since its grassroots beginnings in 1966 in Lexington by Harriet Van Meter, the International Book Project has been “making dreams come true through books” for millions of people in need around the world. IBP serves long-term emerging literacy needs in the developing world, and also responds to areas impacted by natural and humanitarian crises. Their mission is to promote education and literacy in developing countries while broadening Americans’ understanding of their neighbors.