Dusty storage closet filled with books, no more! Nearly a year ago, I began the process of applying for a US AID literacy grant, and thanks to the hard work of all parties involved, Naama Secondary finally has its very first library! Check it out…
It isn’t much, but it’s an improvement from keeping books locked up and out of sight, and forcing students to sit on the ground in the hot sun to study. Hopefully secondary benefits of the space will include students opting to spend extra time at school, teachers making themselves more available to students, and a rise in reading culture (which doesn’t really exist here).
The interior needs some sprucing up: I’m still looking to collect/make posters, and test my artistic skills by painting a big mural on one wall. That’s my project for April – hopefully it isn’t a complete disaster!
I’m also fundraising with a few other Peace Corps Volunteers to get a huge book shipment from a US-based organization called Books for Africa. If we can get that money together, my school alone will be receiving over 900 books. We’re thrilled about this because, first of all, you can never have too many books, but also because most of what we have right now is outdated textbooks published in East Africa. This means that (a) they are riddled with errors and biases, (b) we can offer very little in the way of diversity or choice, and (c) there is literally nothing around for kids to read for fun. Just think, what would your childhood be without evenings spent under the covers with a flashlight and Nancy Drew or Goosebumps or Little House on the Prairie??
If you are able to contribute any amount to this effort, it would be so much appreciated. Please follow the link below to our project page. (You will find it filed under my friend Robin Rentrope’s name.)
As we say in Luganda, “Webale nnyo” (Thank you very much)… in advance!
With Love and Gratitude,
Taylor & The Students of Naama S.S.
A small house will hold a hundred friends.