Sunday, January 20, 2008

Google.org's philanthropy

Chris Blattman says why don't they organize/distribute information to Africa... but I say ... (always did want to say that)... I say, what good is information if you have no idea where it is... so I suggest Google.org establish and run a small community library in every village in Africa. The start up cost to establish 100,000 libraries would be about $500 million, and the annual operating budget around $300 million. Those are big numbers, but amazingly there are a dozen people for whom it is 1/20th of that person's wealth. Imagine that, one person or one organization could establish 100,000 village libraries, and run them for a long time.

Brings up another one of Chris Blattman's posts... the one about the high real wages in Africa. Definitely you have to do something like what we do at FAVL. A librarian gets half the salary of a primary school teacher. What would happen if aid agencies paid salaries according to the local teacher scale? Hire seven people instead of one...

3 comments:

Rebecca Lowell said...
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Teresa said...

I agree that the libraries should come first. I did, however, find a wonderful resource of information on books and libraries in Africa which I wanted to pass along. As Chris Blattman hoped - African Digital Library provides FREE access to full textbooks for anyone with an African email address.

http://library.stanford.edu/africa/libaf.html

Teresa said...

I've been thinking more about the funding of a small community library in every village in Africa. If you agree with Greg Mortensen,www.threecupsoftea.org,then it would certainly be less expensive than 'peacekeeping' efforts later.