Camel Book Drive

Donate To Kenya’s Mobile Library

How To Donate

How do I donate?

You can donate by sending either books or money directly to the camel library in Kenya, or you can donate time by running a book drive for the camel library. There’s no middleperson — everything you contribute goes directly to the camel library. For ideas, or to send books without leaving home, take a look at the Amazon wish list, or the Powell’s wish list. The two official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili. English is the language of government and education. Swahili is the language of the marketplace. You can order books in Swahili here or here. You can also send books in Somali, which is spoken by many of the library patrons. You can order books in Somali from here or here.

WHERE to send the books, mailing costs

WHAT kinds of books to donate

HOW to donate money



  1. I have donated (Linda Young) to send some books. You have inspired me and I will continue to support. But I am starting a similar campaing to help restore the public libraries of New Orleans and if you do not mind I will use your wonderful project as my model. Is that okay with you?

    Comment by Lyn LeJeune(Linda Young) | March 29, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hi – I love this story and want to donate some books. I have an independent bookstore in northern Wisconsin, Islandtime Books & More, Washington Island, featuring all kinds of books, an eclectic collection, adult as well as children’s books. I am heading “up north” (now I reside in the Florida Keys) next month – I open from mid-May thru mid-October, every day. When I get there, I will box up some books and mail them – ??? where – let me know. This is a wonderful project and I will also get your book for my Book Sense/wonderful island bookshop! Thanks,

    Comment by Kathleen Dixon | April 5, 2007 | Reply

  3. Hi There,
    Would like to donate some books but do not know the address.

    Many thanks,
    Bob Cornell

    Comment by Bob Cornell | April 16, 2007 | Reply

  4. I would love to help out by joining the camel library service and assist them in delivering the books for a week or two. Is that possible?

    Comment by Gaye Ellis | October 30, 2007 | Reply

  5. can i donate books in others names as a gift to them for Christmas in lieu of buying them things?

    Comment by joanne | November 19, 2007 | Reply

  6. Joanne, YES YOU CAN. What a great idea. If you want to write in the book the name of the person in whose honor you are sending the book, that would be great also. Thank you.

    Comment by mashhamilton | November 19, 2007 | Reply

  7. I am a librarian and would like to donate books. However, I am also interested in how much it would cost to buy a camel for the book drive?? (I read elsewhere that someone wanted to do the same.)


    Comment by Pat McAbee | November 20, 2007 | Reply

  8. Greetings!

    I am a retired school teacher who, during the course of my career, has purchased thousands of children’s books for classroom use. These books are very gently used, and I would like to donate many of them. The Camel Bookmobile sounds like a wonderful endeavor and a perfect new home for my books. Please tell me where to send them?

    Thanks, Rose

    Comment by ROSE MURRAY | November 27, 2007 | Reply

  9. P.S. I continued to explore your website further and just found the information I need for mailing …..thanks again, Rose. 🙂

    Comment by ROSE MURRAY | November 27, 2007 | Reply

  10. I am a first-time author with a novel coming out in February — and one of the ways I’m celebrating is by donating 10 books from your Amazon wish list. The work you are doing is wonderful. Happy New Year.

    Comment by Kelly Simmons | December 24, 2007 | Reply

  11. I read about your program in Ophra Magazine. What a wonderful, wonderful idea! What dedication! I may soon be at the end of my teaching career– presently at second grade level. I have many, many books that I would like to go to a good cause if I do leave teaching. I will definitely look into donating to your wonderful program when the time comes.

    Mary Anne Schneider

    Comment by Mary Anne Schneider | January 17, 2008 | Reply

  12. I read about your astonishing program in Ophra Magazine. What a wonderful, wonderful plan! What dedication! I may soon be at the end of a long teaching career–presently at second grade level. I have many wonderful books that I would like to see go to a good cause when I do leave. Your program will definitely be at the very top of my list of donations.

    Mary Anne Schneider

    Comment by Mary Anne Schneider | January 17, 2008 | Reply

  13. I am a teacher who previously taught first grade. I have hundreds of books, many of which are in sets of 18 – 24 copies for a single title. I wonder if multiple copies of a title are what is needed, or if you would know of a primary school setting that would benefit more from such. I do have some of the multicultural/African folktales that are on the Wish Lists. So either way, I am in a position to donate books. If you can let me know about the multiple copy titles, I would appreciate it and then could make decisions about sending books. Also some of my books have audiotapes to “read along”. Is a casette player available? Can such an item be donated as well? Thank you for your response.

    Comment by Pat Carroll | January 30, 2008 | Reply

  14. Could not access your mailing address to send a donation. Could you please e-mail me and let me know? Thank you.

    Anhela Oropeza

    Comment by Anhela Oropeza | February 5, 2008 | Reply

  15. Can I donate used books in great shape?

    Comment by Jim Lavin | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  16. I am deeply committed to empowering women and girls to secure a better world. I’m involved in a variety of organizations with that vision. Your idea strikes a chord, and I want to be involved. Are you open to spreading this idea of selecting and delivering books to rural areas beyond Kenya?

    I would like to see book groups develop on the books they have read. As their world expands so will their aspirations. They would be an encouragement to each other.

    I will go now to Amazon and order from the Wish List.
    Thank you for this inspiring way to invest ourselves in the future.
    Myrna Brown

    Comment by Myrna Brown | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  17. After reading an article in the March issue of Family Circle my husband and I were inspired to help your efforts by purchasing a camel (estimated cost was listed at $350) for Mr. Farah’s regional library. We feel that most people will be able to provide the books but without means of tranport they will never reach their target. If someone could please contact me to let me know the best way to provide the funds that would be directed to this endeavor it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your dedication and response.

    Comment by Cassandra Gladney | February 8, 2008 | Reply

  18. Is there any place in the U.S. that will accept donated books for your cause? I would like to send some books but I don’t think I can swing the cost to send them overseas.

    Comment by Adrienne Ray | February 16, 2008 | Reply

  19. Hello, I saw this in the Family Circle magazine and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I have 5 small children and know how fun and important books are to small children. I would love to do a book drive and have family and friends donate books. How do I fiqure out the cost of shipping the books over? We could possible have them donate money to purchase a camel? I want to get my kids involved and have this be a life changing experince for the whole family. This is amazing! Would love any info I can get to get me going on this book/money drive.
    Thank you so Much!

    Comment by Kelly Thompson | February 18, 2008 | Reply

  20. Hi

    For the last four years the U.S. – Africa Children’s Fellowship has been sending 40-foot containers to Zimbabwe. Last week our 6th container arrived full of textbooks, children’s books, school supplies, art supplies, sports equipment, bicycles, toiletries, toys and other needed items. Each container holds about 1,400 boxes weighing up to 40,000 lbs. This year we expanded our program to Tanzania and are assisting two NY groups ship to Kenya and Ghana.

    We are based in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I think we might be able to help you send more materials to Kenya. If you want to talk call me at 718-965-2560.

    Mark Grashow
    President: USACF

    Comment by Mark Grashow | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  21. What a wonderful program!! I am the mother of 7 children and have many, many used books that I would like to donate. Is there an interest in gently used books? And like many others, I am not able to find an andress as to where to send the books. Thanks for all of your efforts!

    Comment by Tara Bowman | March 23, 2008 | Reply

  22. Can anyone please give me directions on how to run or set up a book drive. I want to present this to my church council.

    Thank You

    Comment by Barbara C Valle | April 7, 2008 | Reply

  23. Thanks for being part of this world, I just can’t stop smiling when I read about people caring so much for the world.

    Please visit my blog, once you are there you’ll understand.

    Best wishes and lots of good energy,

    Daniel Aguilar

    Comment by letsgrowgreen | May 7, 2008 | Reply

  24. Hi.
    i am trying to donate books but can meet the shipping charges..if yu interested in helping me raise funds please let me know. i am from kenya and do know the importance of thhis project.

    Comment by ken samoei | June 2, 2008 | Reply

  25. Dear Masha,

    One day this past Spring, my mother-in-law shared with my daughter, her granddaughter, how she read about the Mobile Camel Library where camels bring books to children in Africa. Lauren, our 5 ½ year old Kindergartener was so moved by the story she decided on her own to ask her school principal if she could collect children’s books from her friends at Tatnall School here in Wilmington, Delaware. The principal was inspired by Lauren’s passion to help children in a faraway place to learn to read just like she was learning to read. One teacher came to me in tears at what a great thing it was that the Mobile Camel Library existed and that Lauren wanted to share it with everyone else with intentions to help. The children spent weeks studying Africa and The Mobile Camel Library was part of their Kindergarten discussions. We will be mailing more than 200 books, mostly English children’s stories this week. We will also be sending moeny to make sure Mrs. Maryan Osman Warfa can clear the boxes in customs.

    Thank you for all your efforts in bringing awareness to a good cause where even the smallest donors can help.


    Michelle James (mom)
    Lauren James (daughter)
    Amber Goldstein (granddaughter)

    Comment by Michelle James | June 9, 2008 | Reply

  26. Hi,
    Have read many of the comments and wondered if there was a place to read the answers. I would hate to duplicate the questions.
    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Kathy Carwell | June 21, 2008 | Reply

  27. Has anyone ever done this as an Eagle Project? I have a son who would like to submit this to the scout council for approval. We would need a lot more information for them to approve this.

    What about making and sending book bags for the children?

    Comment by Karen Wilcox | July 11, 2008 | Reply

  28. Hello,

    I read this website, every word of it. It inspired me very deeply. I am a kindergarten teacher, and I am going to teach Afrika through the all year, and Kenya in particular. First thing in the opening of the year I’ll talk to my director and see how can we give and do our share.
    Thank you very much for doing and being such wonderful, wonderul people, Ruth

    Comment by Ruth Mohar Amgar | July 16, 2008 | Reply

  29. I love the the photograph of the man leading the camel and would like to find out more about it. If someone could contact me that would be awesome! thanks.

    Comment by Jeanne | October 16, 2008 | Reply

  30. I have finally sent the first of two boxes of books that we collected in leiu of presents for my sons 2nd birthday. Each book has a name plate with his picture stating who donated the books. I am so sorry it has taken me so long to send them and I do hope that you received them. They were sent on OCT 15, 2oo8 from California. THANK YOU! Dawn

    Comment by Dawn | November 10, 2008 | Reply

  31. Is the Camel Bookmobile project a registered charity? Would it be possible to work with the project as a volunteer?

    Comment by ruth campbell hicks | January 5, 2009 | Reply

  32. Our club donated 20 children’s books to the Camel Bookmobile and are continuing to collect books to send to “Nomadic Schools” in Kenya. We weren’t sure how to get listed on your donor list. Nancy Clark – webmaster

    Comment by GFWC Taunton and Raynham Juniors | January 7, 2009 | Reply

  33. Hi I am on a yacht currently sailing down the Red Sea and we have many books on board that we would like to donate to your project. Particularly children’s books. We will be calling into Eritrea …Asmara and Sudan…Port Sudan and Surakin. Is there ANY way we can get these books to you from one of these places??

    Comment by sailingonkari | March 25, 2009 | Reply

  34. Thanks for the infos.

    Comment by Mutuelle | January 29, 2010 | Reply

  35. Are you still operating the Camel bookmobile and if so how do I send books. Many thanks.

    Comment by Julie Long | March 19, 2010 | Reply

  36. My daughter was so moved by this story that for her 10th birthday coming up in a few weeks has asked for all her friends and family to bring several books each to her party instead of gifts for herself. She has planned activities for her party that revolve around reading and has planned for all the children at her party to write messages on the inside cover of the books they bring for the library patrons. Thank you for helping me teach my daughter the value of giving and the importance of reading.

    Comment by Melissa | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  37. Is the Camel bookmobile still operating? I am interested in sending books. Thank-you.

    Comment by Linda Dotson | April 9, 2010 | Reply

  38. Hi! I think your orginization is a great idea! I was wondering if you still accept book donations.
    Thank you.
    Frances M.

    Comment by Frances M. | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  39. A number of local bookc clubs in Ridgefield CT are interested in this effort – is the CAmel bookmobile still operating?

    Comment by Alison Sedney | September 18, 2010 | Reply

  40. Hello I think this is a wonderful thing you are doing. I had a question about children’s book do you work with younger children or know of someone who does?

    Comment by Brianne Donovan | December 1, 2010 | Reply

  41. I learned about this drive a few weeks ago and sent out a box of children’s books to Kenya today. I am so happy about this effort to further literacy; it is so important for children and adults alike to have access to books. I may not have known about this project if Masha Hamilton had not spoken at the Ridgefield Library, in Ridgefield, CT a few weeks ago. I encourage you to continue visitng libraries, book clubs, school in order to spread awarness about this wonderful project!

    Comment by Casey McKenna | May 10, 2011 | Reply

  42. The Camel Library is in Kenya and has recently expanded! The Missouri Reading Council is doing a similar book drive for the Turalei School in the recently independent country of South Sudan. All books donated are to be in the official language of ENGLISH!

    Comment by Terry Sherer | July 20, 2011 | Reply

  43. We applaude you.

    Richard Balasar

    Comment by Richard | January 18, 2012 | Reply

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