The South African Rotarians have a new Rotary Humanitarian Aid Centre which serves as the book distribution center as well as district offices, training facilities, and dispenser of other aid materials. It is pictured below.
The Centre is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. There is room at the facility for the storage of about 20 containers. A matching grant from District 5790 has provided a forklift for the facility. The Second Wind Foundation has provided a second used forklift for the center.
The Centre opened in mid-May 2007. In the first six weeks they dispensed over 110,000 books, mostly to primary and secondary schools and universities. A pilot project has been set up by the Minister of Education in Namibia to furnish 80 schools from the center. With the permission of the Minister of Education in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean Rotarians have collected two truck loads of books from the center and transported them to schools in Harare, Zimbabwe. Books are now reaching Zambia and Malawi through the efforts of Rotarians. Trucks transporting copper and other raw materials to Johannesburg are returning mostly empty but, now carry some books from the center. By August 2008, they were approaching million books distributed in six countries.
The Immediate Past Rotary International Director for Africa has asked that the Johannesburg Center be replicated in other parts of Africa.