International Programs (1999-Current)

Project Flight is well known in Western New York for donating over 250,000 books each year to the children, schools, agencies, and families of Western New York.  However, Project Flight makes no distinctions between international or national programs when it comes to children in need: all children are served.  Clearly, children in Buffalo are no different than children in Africa or China—they all have a hunger to learn about themselves and about the world.  To that end, Project Flight helps fight illiteracy overseas as well as at home.  Children and adults in countries all over the world are in need of books in English – books that can help play a role in their intellectual development, as well as in their understanding of American society and culture. 
In 1999, upon hearing of an acute need for English language books and school supplies in a secondary school, “Les Hirondelles,” in Garoua, northern Cameroon, Project Flight responded by collecting and donating 12,500 textbooks and other reference materials to that school.  These books were valued at an estimated quarter of a million dollars.  As English is one of two official languages in Cameroon, these books were in high demand in this impoverished country.  Two Buffalo State College graduates played a significant role in this project by identifying the need in Cameroon.  They were very familiar with the problem because it was their parents who actually started the school.  An additional Buffalo State connection to this project was the College’s donation of computers, printers and typewriters to the school.
In 2000, Buffalo’s Sister City in France, Lille, was the beneficiary of a books exchange program in which Project Flight donated 500 books dealing with American literature and civilization.  These books were distributed to students with an avid interest in American and to disadvantaged individuals in northern France to improve their reading and writing skills.  Also in 2000, Project Flight donated 1,200 Pre-K to 12 books to Colombia, South America for distribution to appropriate schools in that country.
The donation, transport, and distribution of books overseas continues today.  It is a very complicated process, requiring the assistance of many individuals and groups.  Project Flight benefits from a very close working relationship with the International Student Affairs Office at Buffalo State College and Dr. Jean F. Gounard.  Project Flight is dedicated to building upon and expanding its international services, because the ability to read and write well is a universal human need. According to Dr. Cappella, “The Legacy of Literacy is Democracy and Freedom.” Though it is true that charity begins at home, its boundaries are limitless. Project Flight’s most recent overseas donation went to helping to provide resources for Sankofa Library Project, a non-profit literacy program in West Africa (Ghana).
In 2002, Project Flight partnered with other organizations as part of the Doctors without Borders program to establish a literacy program in a devastatingly poor section of Mexico City, known as a “garbage dump” city.  For this program, Project Flight donated a significant number of books, as well as sponsored and trained a Buffalo State student in how to tutor students and start a school for literacy.  This student was then sent to Mexico City to provide much needed tutoring to these disadvantaged people.  In another development, that same year, Project Flight provided a generous donation of books to help establish a school in South Africa.
A very ambitious program was undertaken in 2001 in which Project Flight donated 6,800 books to the city of Tianjin, China.  These books were then distributed to six universities and schools in that city.  According to the Consul General for China these books were very much appreciated.