It all began in May 2008, when fifteen year-old Shannon McNamara was planning a service trip to Africa. She learned about the gender bias that prevents many girls there from getting a quality education, and she was determined to help. Shannon rallied her neighbors and friends, and together they collected donations of thousands of children’s books, school supplies and used laptop computers.
That summer, Shannon and her family brought 500 pounds of these donated school supplies to a rural village in Tanzania, and transformed a dilapidated classroom into a fully functioning library. From that initial project, SHARE in Africa was born.
SHARE in Africa is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit which empowers thousands of African girls through education. SHARE has built school libraries and established after-school reading programs to help girls become literate; collected donations of 33,000 books, thousands of school supplies, and dozens of laptop computers and e-readers; installed electricity and solar power in three schools; constructed a dining hall that can seat 1,000 students; and has spread awareness about the educational gender-bias in African cultures to thousands of Americans.
SHARE's current mission is to provide scholarships so bright and deserving African girls can attend high school (secondary school). Without our help, their families simply cannot afford to send them to high school. Many girls will be forced to drop out of school, marry young and have children young. But with our help, the girls can receive a world-class education and become the leaders of tomorrow. They can lift themselves and their families out of poverty. If a girl is given the opportunity to get an education, there is no telling what she can do, and what she can become!