Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lending a Skillful Hand Around the World

Teaching Preserving in Malawi, Africa is such an amazing story and a good reminder that in so many places in the world people really do feed themselves without having money or access to stores. I have seen this in the Amazon Basin in Peru and in Africa — people who live miles from any civilization and grow or forage everything they eat. Having them be able to preserve food to last until the next harvest is wonderful.

One of the great satisfactions to many of us here at Storey is that our publishing program is of such use to so many people in developing countries that are striving for self-sufficiency. In Tanzania Storey helped to support a library through an organization of Friends of African Village Libraries. The library is in a very remote place, and it has become the adult education center of the area.

Editor and world traveler Deb Burns has sent and taken books to other countries in Africa on more than one occasion. Deb always comes back with stories of the appreciation and respect people have for the opportunity to learn how to do more for themselves through our books. See the video below for a sense of how these books are being used.

Many of our authors also participate in worldwide efforts to help people be more self-sufficient. Oxen author Drew Conroy spent several months in Africa and was able to work closely with the people of Namibia teaching them how to work with draft animals, a skill that frees them from dependence on petroleum and heavy equipment while producing food and fertilizer for their communities.

Author Drew Conroy with his Brown Swiss oxen

Woodworking FAQ author Spike Carlson participates regularly in a Tanzanian reforestation project, as well as a well-digging project so schools can have water on the premises.

And Nature’s Art Box author Laura Martin is spearheading an effort in Haiti, Ties That Matter, that teaches low-income women how to form craft co-ops that make and sell products created from recycled and donated neckties, providing reliable income for themselves and their villages.

We hope that the information contained in our books, combined with the generosity of our authors and our staff, is lending a skillful hand around the world.

— Pam Art, Storey Publishing Publisher and President

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