e-Readers for Africa

Mission Contact:

Website: https://sites.google.com/a/blcfairport.org/pdlwiki/home

Vision:

Our vision is to ship appropriate books and documents to the ELCA pastors in Zambia via e-books pre-loaded on a Kindle as a method of sharing our resources with them.

Mission:

As part of its mission work, Bethlehem Lutheran Church (BLC) in Fairport, NY has been using digital media to upgrade the reading and training material assets for the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Zambia (ELCZa). Pastors and evangelists from these churches have been sent Kindles preloaded with a collection of books to support their church work and recreational reading. We call this collection of books the Pastor’s Digital Library (PDL).

Current needs:

There are two current needs for the e-reader program. One is the acquisition of e-readers that can be loaded with documents. The second need is the development of succinct and easily read material that will match the skill set of pastors in Zambia and which can be converted to an e-reader format.

Description of the ministry:

improvements to the public educational systems. Shipping books to Africa from regions where they are plentiful is a useful but expensive way to address this need; the expense is primarily due to the weight of conventional books printed on paper. The weight of digital media is only that of the e-reader needed to read it, which with today’s technology is trivial when compared to the weight of a full library of books printed on paper. The cost of a Kindle, cover, and charger fully loaded with current content is about $200. The cost of purchasing and shipping the same content is about $1200. Users in Zambia are able to charge the Kindles using the same technology used to charge cell phones.

Supplying e-readers continues to be goal of the mission, but the development of useful material
formatted for the mobile internet is becoming a companion focus.