Digital Reading in Kenya: Passports With Purpose 2015

Digital books thanks to Worldreader, for Passports with Purpose (photo courtesy Worldreader)

Digital books thanks to Worldreader, for the Passports with Purpose travel blogger community fundraiser (photo courtesy Worldreader)

We talk a lot about journeys, stories, and human connections here on Perceptive Travel, both the ones that we experience personally, and the ones we sometimes find through music and books.

Now imagine helping to make it possible for thousands of people in Kenya to learn, grow, and take journeys themselves, through the power of books.

We can do it and you can help, through this year’s Passports with Purpose.

What Is Passports With Purpose?

Here’s the idea behind #PwP: each of the more than 50 participating blogs hosts a travel-related prize, and prizes are also all listed in a big catalog on the Passports with Purpose website.

People can bid – in US$10 increments – for a chance to win the prize or prizes of their choice. All of the money this year goes to Worldreader, and contribution bids are tax-deductible in the U.S.

So, you can bid a mere US$10 and end up winning items worth a LOT more than that – generous gift cards, an amazing resort holiday, travel gear, hotel stays, and other goodies.

Here at Perceptive Travel, what we like about Passports with Purpose is that since it started in 2008, all of the money raised from bids goes directly to a different carefully-selected charity each year, and they have all done something very concrete to make a better world.

Water wells in Haiti, a village in India, schools in Cambodia and Mali….not amorphous do-gooder funding black holes, but real progress that you can see, touch, and feel.

In 2015, We’re Filling Kenya Libraries With E-Readers & Books

This year, Passports with Purpose and the travel blogging community is working with Worldreader to bring digital readers to Kenya.

Funds raised during the 2015 PwP drive will buy 50 Kindles for each of five libraries in western Kenya – English and Swahili fiction and non-fiction for all ages, plus Kenyan textbooks. The Worldreader program includes training for the librarians, as well as a field-tested solar solution that will keep the e-readers charged if electricity is scarce.

There are so many opportunities in digital reading, and also in the use of cellular devices to access libraries.

Says Worldreader:

“We saw that cell phones were widely prevalent in developing countries, so we created a Worldreader Mobile which allows anyone, anywhere to access the Worldreader digital library from any connected mobile phone or tablet. Our publishing team works hard to optimize titles for the smallest screen sizes.”

I was touched by how Margaret, who used to be illiterate, uses her tiny phone screen to teach students and read to her own kids:

Here is the direct link to Margaret’s video in case you can’t see the embed box above.

Our 2015 Prize Outfits You For Your Travels

Perceptive Travel is excited this year to host a PwP prize offering from ExOfficio, which makes excellent technical travel clothing.

It’s a US$100 gift card toward anything they carry (note: the prize must be shipped to a U.S. address.)

ExOfficio Calluna Fleece Wrap in marina and Wanderlux Convertible Skirt in black (photo courtesy ExOfficio)

ExOfficio Calluna Fleece Wrap in marina and Wanderlux Convertible Skirt in black (photo courtesy ExOfficio)

I’m not really a collector of travel-specific clothing and gear (if you are, then our sister site Practical Travel Gear is just what you need,) but one of the few such items in my closet happens to be an ExOfficio shirt that I’ve worn for years.

It wasn’t cheap, but it’s much classier-looking than a Tshirt, washes out in a hotel sink, and is pretty bomb-proof against stains and crummy weather.

Go here for a chance at our ExOfficio gift card prize!

Not Into Technical Travel Clothing?

It’s OK if you’d rather bid on something else – here is the whole catalog of the 2015 Passports with Purpose prizes.

Deadline to make your bid is Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Note: Passports with Purpose will still take donations, but no more prize drawing entries, after the end of the day November 18.

Thanks so much for joining us in supporting Passports with Purpose!

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