A B O V E T H E S E A S
BECAUSE A GREAT ADVENTURE STARTS WITH A GOOD BOOK
We donate computers where there are no computers
We provide Internet where there is no Internet
We give books where there is a lack of reading material
WE DO THIS THROUGH A NETWORK OF SMALL COMMUNITY LIBRARIES
LOCATED IN THE POOREST PLACES
Click here if you are a small community library located
in East Africa and would like to receive supplies
The mission of Above The Seas is to support education advancement through the promotion and support of community libraries in the developing world.
Our main objective is to improve village and slum libraries which serve the extremely poor.
We are a micro Non-Governmental Organization (uNGO) supporting libraries in the developing world. We collect and manage funds which are used to purchase needed supplies for community libraries. We have very low operation overhead costs. All funds are directed entirely to purchase and deliver supplies to libraries in the poorest places.
This library project was directly inspired by Dr. Denise C. Hogan. For well over a decade, she has successfully supported a small community library in a suburb of Nairobi, Kenya. Without her support, this library would not exist today. This support model avoids micro-management, and instead encourages and facilitates what local people are already doing very well.
The libraries we support do not really need outside help in the form of time contribution. They have plenty of competent and dedicated people willing to work hard to make their library a better place. What one quickly realizes, is they lack funding to buy stuff. In these places labor is cheap, but buying things can be very expensive. Imagine a country where a hard working person makes less than $5 per day. What is a good book worth to them?
In many countries, government institutions normally support libraries. In the developing world, this is often difficult as security and food often take precedent on the limited resources available. This too often creates a circle which can be very difficult to break.
The libraries here are not ours, we simply select existing and then provide consulting services, training or library goods such as: books, computers, chairs, or any other item they need. We carefully select libraries with the following:
- Highly benefit the local population.
- Owned and run by locals.
- We have visited and assessed the library.
- We have collected metrics: number of visitors, number of books, establishment size, etc.
- The library must inspire confidence through good management.
What we offer
These libraries have very limited resources and are not well organized to accept or manage donations. We have decided to create a small NGO in order to collect funds and organize its distribution in the form of supplies. Above The Seas is not a middleman in a monetary transaction, we offer the following:
- Provide and deliver library supplies.
- Facilitate library Internet connectivity, computer access, and use of eReaders.
- Favor allocating resources where it can potentially grow library revenues and not add burden to finances.
- Onsite verification: we have personally visited and evaluated all the libraries on our website.
- Tax deduction for all your donations, we are IRS 501(c)(3) approved.
- We perform library promotion outside their immediate community.
How we do
Because we know a large number of libraries, think of our support as an investment portfolio:
we invest more in places where the returns are greater.
We measure the return by the positive impact it has on the community, and more specifically on the children. We determine this impact by conducting onsite observations and informal surveys in the vicinity of the libraries.
- Donating 100 books to a village library which has only 50 books makes a big difference.
- Adding the first and only computer with Internet access to a slum library supporting orphanages and schools has a huge impact.
We follow a simple and proven process to distribute library supplies. We take advantage of items delivery to close the loop and perform an assessment of the library situation and needs.