Become an Online Mentor

Video and Photos

About

Due to COVID we are putting expeditions on pause but you can still change the world by becoming an online mentor to a child in a developing country.

We take care of everything so each day so you can just focus on changing lives and enjoying your experience!
This humanitarian expedition will provide REAL experiences. By building a library, you will help those who are less fortunate have something that will truly change their lives and the lives of generations to come. During your time you will teach classes, visit homes, read with the children, build a library, and celebrate the completion of the library with the village.

You will have the chance to immerse yourself in the culture of Kenya as well as spend two days seeing the beauty of the country.

Village Book Builders is an organization founded on the desire to bring knowledge to children and families across the world by building community libraries that provide access to literacy education.

Highlights
  • All inclusive: accommodations, meals, project supplies, and transportation.
  • Two excursion days to see the beauty of your service country.
  • The opportunity to enter the homes of the villagers and understand their way of life.
  • Professional local guide providing 24/7 support.
  • Custom meals according to your diet or allergies.

Christmas Break Expeditions Open

Belize is open for registration. Come spend your Christmas giving back through service travel in the Caribbean!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

10 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • Impact 9.9
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 12
Default avatar
Anne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Empowering Villages Through Libraries

Village Book Builders is an incredible organization that brings hope and excitement about learning to communities through books. The travel experience is enhanced with the sense of purpose that develops when the group works together. Opening a library and working with the children provides travelers with the opportunity to immerse themselves into the culture of those with whom one may never have interacted if traveling as a sightseer. I can’t day enough about the wonderful experience I had opening a library in Malawi this past summer. The most incredible pet of the journey for me was teaching the librarian and teachers how to access resources using the RACHEL server. I am forever changed. I look forward to learning even more on the Kenya trip in July 2020!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open to learning from and through others. Be flexible. Be yourself.
Me with the village
Brittany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Books bring Hope

Oh my gosh! where to start! My experience in Africa was life-changing with Village Book! Not only did it change the lives of the community we served but it changed my life as well! I had always wanted to go on a humanitarian trip like this, so when I found one that focused on my love of books it was a perfect fit. I will never forget sitting in front of the villager's home talking to them about the importance of reading and also hearing their stories and lives. Also, going from house to house being led by the children as they held our hands the whole way. I will also never forget seeing the excitement on the kid's faces when they went into the library and saw the hundreds of books and several computers. It was life-changing and I am so grateful that I found Village Book and was able to be a part of this work!

Read my full story
Default avatar
Sheri
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

We helped change lives!

Going to Africa with Village Book Builders was not only a life changing experience for those who benefited from the library but a life changing experience for me. The group was well organized, and costs were lower than expected. We worked our tails off, but then had time for fun after our work was complete. All expectations were met and exceeded. We got to know the people, help and serve the entire community, and help individuals one on one. With the people of the village, we built a library, stocked it with books, then taught them how to use it. We saw their excitement in seeing a book for the first time. We taught them how to use the English Language Tutors on the computer. Then we celebrated with a grand opening of the new library! I saw first hand the difference a book can make in someone's life.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Most surprising was seeing first hand the difference learning to read can make in a country like Malawi. A security officer at the airport was upset and angry about the amount of luggage we had. When she saw it was nothing but books inside her whole demeanor changed. She picked up a book, carefully caressed it, then asked if she could take it home to her 8 year old daughter. She said if she could only have a book, it will change her life. She will be able to read and then she could get any job there is. It was surprising to me that so many people in so many places have never seen a book before. I felt pure joy knowing I could help open opportunities and bring the love of learning to so many people.
Default avatar
Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Malawi

When I first signed up to come to Malawi I thought I was going to be bringing a library to a random village. What I didn't realize was that I was bringing much more than that. I was bringing these people hope and opportunity.
Instead of teaching them Success Skills and Music like I had planned, I threw out my lesson and taught based on their needs. In the end, I learned a lot more from them than they learned from me. There is no amount of planning you can do that will prepare you for an experience like this. This trip is what I call an LC, a life changer.

One question that I was asked upon my return was, "do you feel like the people in Kadzakalowa are happier than the people in America?" I wasn't able to answer in the moment, but after a lot of thought I have come to the conclusion that they have something we don't. They don't have WiFi, they don't have air conditioning, and they don't have indoor plumbing. What they do have is a wonderful sense of community and showing people they care. I have never felt more welcomed into someone's home than I did when I was in Malawi. These people are from the most humble of means. This really is the warm heart of Africa. If I could go back tomorrow, I would.

What would you improve about this program?
I think I would try to simplify it. I often felt like we were too ambitious, and we didn't have enough time to finish all of our ideas. In the end, we were able to complete everything we had planned, but it did add an unnecessary amount of stress.
Default avatar
John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bringing Light to The Warm Heart of Africa

The country of Malawi is known as the Warm Heart of Africa because it is located in the center of Africa and it has a huge body of water that runs it border that supplies life giving water to much of Africa. Just like this body of water brings the necessary life to the surrounding area, the group at Village Book Builders are a body of caring people who are bringing life to the areas they touch. I had the blessing to be part of the service expedition to Malawi, Africa in the District of Ntcheu in a small rural African village of Katzakalowa. This village has no electricity and no running water. We were able to take part in the building of a library for them. I was an amazing experience and was a huge success. We had nearly 1000 people from the village and the countryside come out for the grand celebration of the opening of the library. We also fitted the library with Solar Panels so in many ways this library brought light to this village community. Light through knowledge and access to education and light through electricity and rechargeable lamps that the kids can check out with their books to take home to be able to read and study at night. The expressions of the kids and getting to read books with them was one of the highlights. To feel like at a very core level that you are making a generational difference in their life and in the lives of many to come really made the trip special. Great purpose, great people. All in all a wonderful experience and I plan to go again with this same organization, the Village Book Builders!!!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was when the dignitaries were coming to see the library and the solar panel system was not up and running yet. I was still connecting the battery system when they were walking in but somehow just in the nick of time we got it up and running to demonstrate for them.
Default avatar
Tyler
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Will never forget Africa

Our group connected so quickly, enough that it felt more like family. We still talk even years after the trip. This was such an amazing cultural experience, Village Book has really good relationships with the local leaders and the chief Nana Baofo loved us and went out of his way to show us the cocoa fields and to explain their local traditions to us. When he arrived at the celebration that was a sight to behold, as he came in with his giant train. My favorite part was just reading to the kids! Every time I would pull out a book I would have 30 kids instantly gathered around me. The kids are so eager to learn and grow, they have so many dreams and it felt amazing to provide the tools they need to get there. These kids will be the future leaders of Africa!!

What was your funniest moment?
I remember reading three books in a row to a group of 30 kids and I thought they might be getting tired of it so put the book down and went to go see how the rest of the volunteers were doing, no sooner had a walked away that I had 30 hands grabbing me yelling "Lets go learn, ANOTHER BOOK!!" so I read another three books, and I learned they never get tired!
Default avatar
Rebekah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beautiful Africa

It was a life long dream to travel to Africa, and it did not disappoint. When we first arrived the village was waiting there for us with a giant party and celebration! These people value education more than anyone I have ever seen. Even though the landscape was breathtaking it was the people who were truly beautiful! With Village Book we were able to truly connect with the village and feel part of the tribe. Our coordinators did such an amazing job guiding us through the week and helping us understand the culture and customs of the people, I don't know how we could of done it without them.
I loved the entire experience and would recommend Village Book expeditions to anyone, I felt completely safe the entire time, and am planning to go back with them the first chance i get.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Going shopping in a traditional market with our coordinator was amazing! the smells the noise, the sites was so unique.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Angela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Malawi, Africa Village Library

Just got back from a phenomenal trip to Kadzakalowa village in Malawi, Africa! We built a library, decorated it, set up computers and solar panels for charging them, and had a fantastic time! The kids and adults all were thrilled to have books, computers, computer programs, and other resources available to them! I loved interacting with them all, visiting their homes, and seeing firsthand the impact that such simple resources to us can have on them. They have hope for a bright future! The other expedition-goers were diverse in their life experiences, we all bonded quickly, and the the leaders of the expedition were top-notch! Mac and Brittany are servant-leaders with enthusiasm and dedication! The organization cared about our safety, comfort and fun! I am planning on going with them on another expedition next year!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I worked on the local language Chichewa before I came, but I wish I'd have practiced even more. They love it when you speak to them in their language!