Cover to Cover: Passports with Purpose 2011


If you are reading this article, that’s wonderful! It means two things to me: 1) you were given the opportunity to learn such a skill, and 2) you have had some type of access to real hand-held books at certain points in life. Though I spend a great portion of my time reading, much of it is now from online sources. I sigh as I pass the collection of bound printed paper calling out for attention. Most display bookmarks somewhere within their depths. All are begging me to pick up them up where I’d left off. I sigh again as I tell them ‘hopefully tomorrow’…

Libraries are one of my favorite places to visit. We own so many books we converted an old storage space into a library adorned with a rocking chair and reading lamp. Though it hasn’t seen much visitation time of late, the contents held within its walls are some of my most cherished possessions. You won’t find a single room in this house that does not contain ‘real’ books somewhere.

“We envision a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.”

When the news of Passports With Purpose and their 2011 project was released, elation! Libraries! The PwP goal for this project is raising $80,000USD to build two libraries in Zambia. They are working with the Room to Read organization which brings the written word to communities around the world and focuses largely on children. As they state on their website, “We envision a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.”

Photo Courtesy of Room to Read

Recently, TravelBlogs conducted a Q & A session with the PwP founders. The most relevant question and answer:

Pam (Mandel), I have read your blog post about ’short-changing yourself on reading material’ during a recent trip. Like your self, my husband and I grew up with books and our house is overflowing with them. (I pity the person who will have to dispense of our library when we’re viewing the world from the dirt side up.) But, you also comment on downloading several books to your phone. With today’s technology, why choose building libraries rather than computer centers when so many books are available as downloads/online?

I don’t know how you can measure the potential damage to delaying a child’s education because the infrastructure is down, and I’d just rather not.

Pam’s reply: This year I traveled in Tanzania, we had water sometimes, power sometimes… I wish I had a picture of that young man at the Internet café when he told me, with a blinding smile (really, he was just so amused) “Maybe Monday! Maybe we’ll have Internet on Monday!” And I was in a campground where the manager said to me, exasperated, “No Internet in ALL of Tanzania!” I could wait. It was no big deal to me to let it slide for a week or two, I just wanted to check my email. But we’re talking about teaching kids to read. I don’t know how you can measure the potential damage to delaying a child’s education because the infrastructure is down, and I’d just rather not.

Enough said.

Bloggers: Procure a prize and it will be placed in a random drawing. (No donation to Room to Read required.) Host bloggers and prize winners will be notified on December 23, 2011.

Donors to Room to Read: Check out the Passports with Purpose Donation page. Make your bids!

TravelBlogs Prize

A 100 Euro voucher usable through the Budget Accommodation area of

Guidelines and Restrictions:
*The recipient must be a PwP participating blogger.
*The voucher is non-transferable without the consent of (Administrators).
*The voucher will expire December 23, 2012.
*An expiration date extension may be available for extenuating circumstances and the request for such an extension is received by the Administrators prior to December 23, 2012.

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Subscribe to TravelBlogs Posted by Gretchen on December 1st, 2011 in Site news.
Tags: activism, Books, Charity, Chldren, fund-raising, good stuff, Libraries, Zambia

Discussion »

  • #1rob » December 9th, 2011 at 2:26 pm:

    It’s good to hear when others are truly trying to make a difference.

    Teaching others to read is a blessing and one that we should hold in high regards.

  • #2Kent » January 15th, 2012 at 4:40 am:

    What a truly great and inspiring read. We need more people like this in our world. Imaging where we could get in this world, and in life,,, if we all cared and tried a little harder…

  • #3Maria » February 4th, 2012 at 10:59 pm:

    It’s a very inspiring post, I’m definitely lucky that I’m blessed of a lot of things and for that I’m so thankful. I’m glad that there are people who will definitely help others and share their knowledge and expertise to others. Good job and may God bless you guys.

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