Do you know of a group (or could you begin one) that will pay shipping for sending a shipping container with encyclopedia sets for schools in Africa. (The kids there almost have no books, and it seems like books and encyclopedias would be gladly accepted, if they could get there.) How about it?
Good Luck. The school district in Cincy, Ohio where I taught threw away used books by the dumpsterful. These were not tatty old things, but in some cases, nearly new. When I asked if these could be donated, the "NO" would have blistered paint. Every year the same thing went on as different subject areas changed text books manufacturers in each cycle. Teachers had a chance to examine the various choices, but we were told which one to select and vote for and this was not a secret ballot.
How many African kids can read English? My local thrift store is run by Mennonite Central Commitee or M.C.C. they use proceeds from their various thrift stores to help those less fortunate all over the world.
Check out Books For Africa: http://www.booksforafrica.org
I sent a ton of books to them.