Message from Our Founders

Improving global literacy is the most sustainable, long term way to gradually eradicate global poverty. The Matthew E. Russell Foundation honors our son, Matthew Russell. The foundation was established to commemorate and transpire Matthew’s passion for reading to the children of economically-challenged communities. To understand why we do what we do you need to be aware of that the vast majority of schools in South Africa have no functional library system. In the Province of the Eastern Cape, for example, 93% of schools do not have a library on the school’s campus. Overall, 85% of the population of South Africa lives beyond the reach of a public library.

To address this challenge, The Matthew E. Russell Foundation makes traditional books and e-books more accessible to students in schools in the rural area of the Eastern Cape. South Africa is just the start. Reading is the gateway to learning.

There are rural communities all over the biosphere where children have never had the opportunity to experience the world thru reading.

The ultimate developmental goal of the Foundation is to support the establishment of libraries in under-funded, urban townships and rural schools in order to increase student literacy levels, improve teaching methods, and build community support for education reform. As Margaret Fuller quoted, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”


Willie & Flossie Russell, CEO & Founders