Despite Covid-19 lockdowns and no school for most students, we accomplished our mission of restocking schools and providing our first prison libraries. Malukhu Men’s and Women’s Prisons, and the Remand Center (juvenile detention) libraries are a success! The first evening, 72 books were borrowed at the men’s. When I walked in the Remand Center and men’s prison the next day, the floors were full with men and youth reading. Changing lives!
The following reports were provided by Executive Director Trudy Marshall, who lives in Uganda six months each year.
May 4, 2021 – Celebrating! We have now been providing libraries in Uganda for 16 years! This years shipment of approximately 13,000 books is on its way to the port at Houston. It will take 1 1/2 – 2 months to reach Uganda. Our ibraries only receive hard cover books, which are new or like new. Each book has a Dewey spine label and a pocket and card for borrowing. Many thanks to Jim Matthews who has handled the huge task of arranging shipping each year!
May 15, 2021 – We are almost finished putting in ceilings and flooring-where needed, plus painting our 39 Ugandan libraries. Also, we have provided sheer curtains that let in light, but block dirt. Our libraries are looking beautiful! The pictured library at Namatala Primary was established fourteen years ago.
May 25, 2021 – This beautiful church, build in the 1920’s, is home to our library at Kings College Budo, a secondary school. We have been repairing / refreshing our libraries. At Budo, we had the roof of the library repainted. The inside looks like a church building you would find in Europe. It is beautiful, and always full of students reading!
July 6, 2021 – Approximately 4,400 books! These guys moved the books across campus to the new room. Huge job! Then all the books had to be sorted by subject matter for non-fiction and by author for fiction. Finally, a beautiful library at Mbale High School!
July 3, 2021 – It’s hard to imagine that students here have been out of school for almost two years, and we are still locked down! They play together outside, but can’t go to school. Libraries of Love has a shipment arriving in Kenya Monday, then it will travel to Uganda. When the approximately 13,000 books arrive, many libraries need restocked and three new ones will be provided. This is difficult when transport isn’t available – only emergency vehicles can move. It will happen- somehow …
July 20, 2021 – Our container arrived today after about two months crossing the ocean. Inside the container was approximately 13,000 books. These amazing guys unloaded the truck and helped sort the boxes so they could be taken to various schools we are restocking, as well as to the three new prison libraries we are providing. To top it off, they stayed and we added 1,500 new books to Namatala Primary in proper Dewey order, of course!
July 24, 2021 – Mission accomplished! We have provided our first prison libraries. Malukhu Men’s and Women’s Prisons, and the Mbale Remand Center (juvenile detention) libraries are a success! The first evening, 72 books were borrowed at the men’s. When I walked in the remand center and men’s prison the next day, the floors were full with men and youth reading. Changing lives!
50 Libraries have been provided – 47 in schools and the last 3 in prisons!