Christopher Donahue, son of Susan and James Donahue of Ahwatukee and an Arizona State University and Desert Vista High School graduate, is currently serving as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, Africa. When he found out that his assignment was to be in this small country located in South Eastern Africa, he was thrilled and a little intimidated. Peace Corp volunteers have no real idea about the type of living conditions or hurdles they will be facing.

Before Donahue could begin his mission as an A.I.D.S educator in a country that has the highest HIV infection rate in the world, he had to spend the first several months learning the Siswati language, meeting the chiefs in the village and gaining the trust of the villagers. Without indoctrinating himself into their culture the villagers would never be open to his ideas and programs to help stop the spread of HIV.

Currently, Donahue is involved in a new project that will build 30 libraries in 30 different villages that will foster English as a second language. The Peace Corp is partnering with Books for Africa, a stateside organization that collects books to be donated to various African countries. They will be ordering a shipment of roughly 30,000 books (1,000 per school) to start their libraries. Each school needs to raise $300 as their community contribution to the project. That money will be used to transport the books from Durban, South Africa and host a multi-day librarian training for one representative from each school.

If you would like to donate to this project, visit https://www.booksforafrica.org/donate/to-project.html or the Peace Corp donation site.

Beverly Stidham, (480) 898-7924 or bstidham@ahwatukee.com

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