Just over a year ago, the Theological Book Network launched its first crowdfunding campaign. The goal: to curate a collection of digital theological resources on hard drives and send them to Christian schools in Africa which don’t have reliable internet access. In November 2016 we delivered the last of 30 hard drives to Dr. Abel Ngarsoulede, President of FATES (the Shalom Faculty of Evangelical Theology in Chad). Dr. Ngarsoulede’s reaction was consistent with the feedback that we have heard from other recipients. He said, “Since I hold this material in my hands, my heart burns with joy.”
One of the exciting outcomes of the project was to see recipient schools share the hard drives with their neighboring schools, multiplying the reach of the resource even further. Theological College of Zimbabwe, for instance, shared its hard drive with three neighboring schools immediately after downloading the resources onto its own computers, and then shipped it to a fourth school in another part of the country.
In Kenya, librarian Ephraim Mudave wrote:
This is the good news of the year! I am so elated to read of this project, and the flexibility in use of the resources is amazing. Kindly send the drive to the address in this email. Be sure we shall extend the same to as many institutions and individuals as we can.Ephraim Mudave, PhD
University Librarian, Africa International University
In all, 64 donors provided more than $15,000 to fund this project. Thank you to all who gave! Your donation helped plant seeds of digital access in Africa that will continue to bear fruit as these resources are shared and used widely. On learning about the success of this project, many of our partners in other geographic locations have asked us to consider extending the project to their regions. We are gathering further feedback from this pilot project and are listening to the needs of our partners in other regions as we plan our next steps.