This world reader e-books project looks like a great opportunity. E-books would bring huge benefit to various projects I know about. For a start I would love to tell John Dada, Fola Sunday so they could get these e-books to use in their work with disadvantaged communites in North Central Nigeria and in South West Nigeria. Other people and projects also start to spring to mind.
Beware of false hopes
However I'm cautious. Often I've seen projects that make my heart leap - but when I dig deeper I find that, for one reason or another, there is no way that the people I know can be beneficiaries. I wonder if this is such a programme - and I need someone to dig into this site (and others like it in future). I need someone who find out if it is relevant, because I don't want to raise any false hopes.
People donate to support this porgramme
From the World reader website, and the video Worldreader Kit: Gets Books Into the Most Remote Places it looks as if people donate money and then children in schools have e-readers to use. All very exciting and positive. It makes me think that this could be possible for my contacts.
Then it says the recipients have to find the money
On the other hand, it says the recipients have to find the money - and it's a big minimum order.
When I go to the "Partner with us" page and click on "apply" I get various questions including this major stumbling block
The start up costs for an e-reader program are about $194-$275 USD per device (this includes all hardware, 100 books per device, expertise and additional material). For a project with 50 devices (our minimum), the total comes to about $9,600. We expect our partners to raise funds on their own. Given that fact, would you be able to fundraise enough for a project?*
To the best of my knowledge the answer to the question "could you raise $9,600 for this" would be "no" for all the projects I have in mind. So I'm glad I didn't get too excited. I'm glad I didn't just forward this great site to any (or all) of the people I know.
Maybe if I dug deeper...
Maybe if I dug deeper then the mystery of the mixed messages would be solved. Maybe I'd even find a way to get some e-books to the people I care about.
Maybe I could find out for myself more quickly than the time it takes to write this blog. So why write the blog?
A recurring problem
This a recurring problem, and that's why I'm sharing it and seeking help.
It's not just this website. I have lost count of the "helping Africa opportunities" that I've seen online that turn out to be irrelevant for my contacts and a waste of my time reading them . For example often they say they are "For Africa" - but in fact they are only for a few selected locations. Often they are not considering any new applicants. Often they are only working in a couple of countries and are not considering any of the countries I connect with. "Partner with us" usually sends me to a donation page, not an invitation to suggest new partners on the ground. There are all sorts of barriers that only become evident as I delve deeper.
I have almost given up reading any of the "world changing development project opportunities" that I see because of the disconnect between their apparent relevance and the actual possibility of connecting with the benefits described. However, now and again hope rises and I'm tempted to see if the opportunities might be relevant to us.
It would be really sad if there are genuine opportunities on the internet that my contacts are missing out on because I haven't the time to trawl through the shiny websites to find what is relevant. If anyone is interested in checking this one out for me, and perhaps more in future, please contact me.
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