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Patrick Plonski
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Patrick Plonski is Executive Director of Books For Africa, the world’s largest shipper of donated books to the African continent. Books For Africa has shipped 27 million books to 46 countries since 1988, including large numbers of books to the Sahel. Plonski holds a PhD in international education from the University of Minnesota, serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota on world development projects, and is a frequent presenter on topics of international literacy. He visits Africa regularly on book inspection projects and has visited some 40 countries in his career on a variety of professional and academic trips.

Entries by Patrick Plonski

NGO's Key to Advancing U.S. Interests Around the World

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 2:58 PM

As world leaders strategize about how best to combat international terrorism and groups like ISIS, they should give serious consideration to a long-term plan that supports Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which promote education, human rights, health care and economic development. Military action alone will not rid the world of terrorism or...

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School Librarian Spends 13 Years in Africa to Advance Reading

(8) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 1:37 PM

Sometimes a short trip turns into an adventure that can change your life and the lives of thousands of others. That's what happened to Pam Shelton, who had been a school librarian in Vermont for 26 years when she first went to Botswana in southern Africa in 1996. She stayed...

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Peace Corps + BFA = Tremendous Success in Africa!

(1) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 2:39 PM

The U.S. Peace Corps is arguably one of the greatest success stories in U.S. international development. Low cost, efficient and extensive, the Peace Corps reflects a genuine desire by the U.S. to render assistance to the developing world. This is most clearly articulated by the fact that the staff of...

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From the Ashes: Learning to Read Gave This Ethiopian School Boy Opportunity to Give Back

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2012 | 1:41 PM

He calls it "the miracle of the scrap paper."

Asratie Teferra was born in a rural village in northeastern Ethiopia. The home he and his family shared with their farm animals was a one-room grass covered hut, an open fireplace in the center of the room. It was tough...

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What If We Sent 1 Million Books to The Gambia?

(4) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 1:34 PM

Tom Warth, the founder of Books For Africa (BFA), has done a lot of unusual things to promote charity and education including walking across Minnesota and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. But nothing has been as important to him as his "African Book Walk: A Hike Across The Gambia to End Their...

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Once Lost, Now Found: Two Lost Boys of Sudan Give the Gift of Literacy to Their Communities Through Books for Africa

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 6:45 PM


South Sudan, Africa's newest nation, has had anything but a peaceful path to independence. Many South Sudanese have never known peace, with the North and the South at war for more than 20 years. Though the civil war ended in 2005, the...

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The Difference a Book Makes

(3) Comments | Posted July 2, 2012 | 9:00 AM

This blog is part of a series organized by The Huffington Post and the NGO alliance InterAction to call attention to the crisis in the Sahel, a region in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 18 million people face starvation and 1.1 million children under the age of 5 are at...

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