Our Library Service Promotes Literacy, Supports Education, and Develops Skills.
Book Boxes to Rural Zimbabwe
Boxes are delivered to 27 rural primary schools in Gwanda district. Each box has approximately 300 books, mostly for children, but also some for teachers and for adults in the community. They include fiction and non-fiction in English and books in the local languages, SiNdebele and SeSotho. These are selected from our stock at the library in Gwanda by a teacher from each school. The school manages the use of the books, and at the end of each term, we collect the boxes and prepare for another delivery the next term.
Library Services in Gwanda
We have built a large library with two wings and offices. One wing caters for adults and students, including secondary school pupils; it offers books of all categories as well as newspapers. The second wing is dedicated to children of pre-school and primary school ages. Besides reading and borrowing books the children come for storytelling and other activities such as crafts, writing and drama related to the stories. In both wings, anyone is welcome to come in and read; those who pay a small subscription may borrow as well.
Our aim is that the library be used to help adults in rural communities to generate income to improve their lives. We employ two field officers to assist villagers to form groups which will select income-generating projects. They then use books in the book boxes at their school to learn the necessary technical skill and how to develop a small business. We now have several study circles with nutrition gardens, several rearing goats, others doing market gardening and one making bead handbags. The aim is to help them move from a subsistence economy to small-scale commerce. Currently, we are helping them to form marketing associations.
Workshops & Training
Training is primarily done through small workshops. These are held with teachers, heads of schools and community leaders to help them to understand the importance of a library and how it can be used to assist with children’s learning. We train a teacher-librarian in each school to manage the books and the borrowing, and we have also held special workshops on the teaching of reading and on the use of e-readers. Workshops are also frequently held for the members of the study circles, especially on planning their projects.