Love what Musa, on the right, wrote to his sponsor: “I had no hope of going to the university. My parents were unable to pay the money, and they had given up on me. I was only left with the hope for dropping out of school and finding a minor job to do for my daily food. But now I’m at the university and happy! My life has changed from hopeless to having hope and nothing to something. The first time I stepped to school, it was a dream to me. Thank you sponsor for everything. Words cannot express it, but you have planted a seed in me. “ God bless our sponsors!
Libraries of Love now has ten sponsored students who have graduated from college. Ten more are now pursuing their degrees at various universities! Plus, there are 48 more sponsored still in primary or secondary. Six of the young men pictured are now at various universities, as well as several girls, also. Very thankful for our sponsors– truly changing lives!
Our wonderful Kampala sponsored young people! Most have been sponsored since early elementary school. They now range from 7th grade to college.
March 27: Several of my ‘crazy’ God Squad ll guys met at my house today. The four on the back row are now in college studying the following: Sylvester – Crop Engineer; Aaron – Nursing; Yusef – Accounting; Godfrey – Nursing. The two in front, Dan and Selah are in high school. They are SO very thankful for their sponsors. We had endless laughs, chicken and chips, then Sylvester preached a sermon. As we prayed holding hands, I cried. I am so thankful for these guys and their sponsors. Our other guys are away at universities at present.
April 23: I met today in Mbale with twenty–nine of our sixty–two sponsored students. Most of these have been sponsored since early primary, with several now in high school or college. Thanks to their sponsors, someday they will all be university graduates! Missing was Juma who is at the university studying pharmacy.
Our sponsored kids in Ewauso town. Other sponsored live out of Ewauso… I’ve known most since they were very young.
March 6: Great time yesterday visiting 9 sponsored Maasai kids’ homes. The longest distance to a home was about 1 hour 15 minutes. All homes were over long paths/trails through the bush. At times, the paths were so bad the cycle couldn’t pass safely. We had to get off and walk. I was thankful that Maria, who helps with our sponsored program, was able to go and help with directions.
We don’t just put books in a room. We keep the shelves fresh with new books as older ones get worn from constant use. This year, we restocked 18 libraries and created two new ones. Executive Director Trudy Marshall spends 6 months in Africa each year looking after our libraries, sponsored students and humanitarian efforts. When she is back in Texas doing the work to collect books and financing, a dedicated group looks after Libraries of Love’s work.
Trudy Marshall: So very thankful for Annet and Herbert who continue the daily work of our sponsored kids, libraries, and humanitarian work in Uganda while I’m away. Also, very thankful for Julian, (not pictured) who oversees Mbale libraries. Pictured next to Herbert is his wife, Doris. Tony, on the left, runs errands, takes sick people to the hospital for me, and checks on my house. A wonderful group!
January 28: Welcome to my small hometown, Ewauso, Kenya.
January 24: Cheers for our Kenyan librarian, Victoria, who meets with all students in Ewauso Girls Secondary each week! The library looks beautiful.
January 31: Cooking lunch at Ewauso Primary – beans and maize (corn). The maize will be made into food like our thick cream of wheat.
February 7: Today, I trained 7th and 8th graders in the organization of their library. The students love the books. I will need to send funds to install a ceiling and one wall. At present, one wall just has a partition. The noise from the class next door is too much. The principal, Mr. Nkipai, is excellent in encouraging the use of the library. Cheers for Ewauso Primary!
February 19: I had a wonderful day with our Kenyan librarians. We had lots of laughter, good food, and library instruction – of course!
February 19: So funny! I had a Kenyan librarians’ meeting today. After lunch, I told them in honor of my grands, we needed to see who could make the best face with food left on their plate. They voted the ‘dinosaur’ man as the winner:)
February 24: We gave this lady a lift today. She told my driver she thought we were age–mates. She is 80. I think I’d better go double check in the mirror and then put on a gallon of age defying face cream:). Ha! Sweet lady!
March 23: Many thanks to The Delta Kappa Gamma International Chapter, ETA Tau, for providing 44 of the African themed books from our Amazon list. The students truly love these books as they can identify with the villages, young people, food, etc. A special thank you to Mary Treacy Wallace who arranged this generous donation.
March 25: Our librarian at King’s College– Budo (a high school) arrived at work at 7:25am this morning. This student was sitting outside the door reading. She was waiting to go in and borrow more books!
April 5: Monday a container of books was shipped from Texas. The books are now headed to me in Uganda for our libraries. Thank you, Jim Matthews, for handling shipping! **Already this amazing group is preparing books for 2023 African libraries. God bless you Paula, Jim, Betty, Ellen, and Anna.
April 11: Thirty-eight librarians from 12 cities and 2 countries. We had 1 1/2 days of library training, which included library instruction, but also fun games such as Dewey bingo. We also shared interesting books. Of course, there was lots of singing. Our Kenya Maasai team led in Maasai singing and dancing. It was a great time of learning and fun!
April 27: One of Libraries of Love’s fifty beautiful libraries!! We believe the African child deserves libraries equal to American young people.
May 16: Libraries of Love never leaves a library. Namirembe Primary was our first library provided in 2005. It recently was repainted and received a new ceiling, plus new carpet will arrive this week. In two months, it will be restocked with approximately 600 new books.
May 23: One of our most beautiful libraries– Kings College Budo. It was built in 1912 to serve as a chapel.
May 24: Wonderful meeting today with 26 of our headteachers / principals. We started with prayer and then the song, ‘We are together again…’ Several came in after the song. Ugandans do not grow up with school libraries, so it’s important to hold informational meetings.
May 31: Grace Primary. One row at a time selects their books. Next, each will fill out the card in his/her book with the date of return, name, and class.
June 2: Libraries of Love provides beautiful metal bookshelves for each of its libraries. Pictured are two, of many, being provided for new libraries.
June 4: It’s a wrap! I’ve had two meetings attended by a our sponsored students, held in Kampala and Mbale, Uganda. In Kenya, I traveled to each remote home. A large librarian meeting was held which included our librarians from Kenya, as well as seven cities in Uganda. Also, twenty–six headteachers / principals attended our meeting three weeks ago in Kampala. This week, the last meeting, was for our Mbale headteachers.
June 14: Pictured are 107 kids, all from one class, having library time at one of our elementary schools. The kids have hardly any room to move and select books. I have suggested the librarian divide the time in half, seeing girls the first half, and boys the second. We have some schools with even larger class population – up to 180.
June 18: A small part of the 400+ boxes of books that arrived from Texas today! We are very thankful for the HM (principal) of Kitante Primary and staff members who had the boxes unloaded and stacked in order by school. Many thanks to those who donated books and funding. We appreciate each of you! It is a happening! Eighteen years of providing libraries in Uganda and Kenya!
June 21: Students love their library!
June 27: We restocked three libraries today with hundreds of books each. I enjoyed reading book reports at MotherCare Primary that were displayed in two places in the library.
Book reports at MotherCare Primary are displayed on the wall in the library.
June 28: Library #12 restocked! Bombo Military Secondary received 574 new books today. I’m thankful that at each high school we’ve had students that have volunteered to help organize the books.
June 28: The ‘Lunch Bunch.’ These students all came to read books during their lunch break at Kitante Primary.
They left their shoes at the door …
July 6: Mengo SS was busy with students today! 8th and 9th grade classes come as a group. The remainder of students come in their free time. This beautiful library is well used!
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.
We did it. With the help of librarians and sponsored students, we restocked 10 libraries and created one new library. It was an major effort to get the 13,000 books distributed in Kampala, Mukono, Jinja, and Mbale without the volunteers who normally travel from the U.S. to help. Plus, transportation was shut down as part of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Approximately 22,450 students received hundreds of new books in their libraries, and 2,000 students received a library for the first time. Unfortunately, the children won’t be able to enjoy the books until schools reopen, the timing of which has not been decided by the government.
We have been locked down in Uganda for months. Thanks to those who sponsor and donate we have been able to provide money for food each month to our 48 sponsored students’ families and 47 librarians. You can read more about this in our July newsletter.
We are excited and proud to say that more than 100,000 students have had access to books in our libraries since the first Library of Love was created at Namirembe Primary School in Kampala in 2005.
We are so thankful for all the supporters who donated books and funding, and special thanks to volunteers who gave their time to make this happen again this year. God bless you one and all. Special thanks to board member Jim Matthews for overseeing the shipping.
March 2 – This truck arrived in Round Rock, Texas, to pick up our books being sent to Uganda this year. Libraries of Love will provide three new libraries and restock 13. The truck will now go to Houston to load the container on a ship! Thank you Jim Matthews for arranging the shipping! From 2005 to 2020, 224,104 hardback new or like new bookshave been shipped for our 48 school libraries – all with Dewey spine labels and pockets and cards for borrowing. Incredible!
March 7 – These 36 librarians gathered in Mbale town from eight cities in Uganda. Eight also arrived from Kenya. This Libraries of Love “family” had two great days of learning how to encourage student reading, creative ways to teach students the organization of the library, and the importance of giving positive reinforcement by showing God’s love to their students. Throw in some amazing singing and the meeting was highly successful.
Libraries of Love has a container on its way across the ocean on a ship like this one. The container, which is carrying thousands of books, presents many challenges because of the lockdown. It is scheduled to arrive at the port in Kenya on the 20th, and then journey on to Uganda. Approximately, 22,450 students will receive hundreds of new books in their libraries, with 2,000 students receiving a library for the first time. Thankfully, we have worked with a trusted customs agent for many years, so I am in touch with him. Praying all goes well.
April 20 – Our container has arrived in Mombasa, Kenya. It will be offloaded, loaded on to a semi-truck, then travel to the border of Kenya and Uganda for customs clearance. They are now checking truck drivers for COVID-19 at the border, so that may take time. When we clear, it is designated to unload at a school. I am six hours away from the school and there is no travel allowed in Uganda by car or bus. Thankful I have been here many years and have good contacts. It will happen!
May 5 – Our shipment arrived safely – all 320 boxes! It took the coordination of several wonderful people, as we are still on lockdown with no cars or other public transport allowed to move. Those who unloaded had to walk to the school. Our LOL coordinator rented a bike and rode endless miles to arrive. Special thanks to Herbert Segujja, our coordinator and John Kisitu, our amazing customs agent.
May 28 – Thanks to the incredible volunteers in Texas who prepared thousands of books.
Next, the boxes were filled with each receiving school’s name placed on the outside of the box, along with the type of books in the box – Easy (E), Fiction (F) or Non-fiction (NF). The boxes in Kampala have now been distributed. Monday morning we will pack a truck and deliver boxes to libraries in Mukono, Jinja, and Mbale.
A HUGE thanks to all the publishing companies, groups, and individuals who donated books!
Libraries of Love is set up legally to provide libraries – which is our focus, but also to provide humanitarian assistance if needed. As I leave my village each day for a three mile walk, I tuck some funding from donors, as well as some of my own funds, in my jeans. As I see women, such as these, hoeing gardens in the hot sun, I slip them some money for food. After I had given these ladies food money, I turned back to look. They were jumping up and down hugging each other.
May God bless our donors. Your help has made a difference!
All 320 boxes containing approximately 13,000 books have now been distributed to 18 schools. Each book is a new or like new hardback book, complete with a Dewey spine label for organization, and a pocket and card for borrowing. We are so grateful for those who donate these incredible books. It’s time to start to putting beautiful, organized libraries together!
Kasubi Primary has been restocked with 533 new books. All the books on the shelves had to come off and be organized with the new books. I’m thankful for this wonderful group that spent the day working to bless the children of Kasubi.
We took more than 5,000 books off the shelves and then mixed in hundreds of new books to create a beautiful, organized library for Buganda Road Primary. So much work, but what a blessing for the students! The Ugandan government doesn’t provide such libraries, so we are thankful for all those who help make this happen.
June 9th is Hero’s Day in Uganda. I would like to give a shout to all of those who have stepped in to take the place of our team that couldn’t come this year. As I have organized libraries, we have been joined by assistant principals, teachers (two on top left), our librarians, the Ononge family, and Herbert Segujja, who works with Libraries of Love. Making a difference – my heroes!
Library No. 6 for 2020, Wambwa Primary, was restocked with 1,107 books. We provided this library in 2009. Great job Monica (librarian), Sam and Juma (college students who I refer to as double trouble) and Tony my boda driver!
Libraries of Love only puts hardback books in our libraries. This year, we did send some paperback and board books to give away. I (Trudy) had to smile as I was walking to town and spotted this little one with her book!
This is just one side of the room in the new library provided by Libraries of Love at Musoto Christian Primary, located in the village where our executive director lives while in Uganda. A total of 3,062 books were organized and are ready for use when schools reopen.
We added 1,081 new books the Light Academy Primary library. Great displays in this library. The librarian had students fill in the ‘person’ outline, to share about themselves. She also read the students non-fiction books in the library. From those books, students filled in venn diagrams comparing fruits and vegetables, and also the sun and moon. Librarian / teacher – perfect!
It’s a wrap!
This amazing group – with the assistance of missionary Liz Ingram – worked for endless hours sorting approximately 9,000 books and placing them on shelves by subject matter for non-fiction and author for fiction. So, it’s June 29, and it’s a wrap for the 2020 libraries. Only librarian training remains.
Books have arrived in Uganda Year 15! We are so excited the shipment has arrived and so thankful for all the supporters who donated books and funding, and special thanks to volunteers who gave their time to make this happen again this year. The shipment of 13,000+ new or like-new hardback books made the two-month trip from Texas and will make their way into 13 schools – 3 new libraries and 10 to be restocked. God bless you one and all. Special thanks to board member Jim Matthews for overseeing the shipping.
Books arrive in Uganda, get unloaded and distributed to schools.
Our first restock of 2019 is at Zion Primary. An army general drove me the three hours to the school. It was a long but good day. The library looks great. The teachers were there, but the kids were on break, so the teachers helped organize the books.
45 Libraries. 65 sponsored students attending school. 6 college graduates. I love the scope of Libraries of Love which covers education and humanitarian needs. Pictured are some of our sponsored students in Kampala.
Two awesome days with 30 amazing librarians from 7 cities! The first day was fellowship. Today we had library training all day. One learning game was Dewey Bingo. It was the first time they had played bingo! They loved it. So, of course, I had to launch into…’There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name-o,’ (though it had nothing to do with playing bingo:). There was lots of laughs as we sang.
Today we enjoyed adding several hundred books to our library in the African Children’s Choir school. They were especially happy to receive the African themed books from our list on Amazon. These kids are avid readers! Pictured are: Joseph who works with Libraries of Love, Hope- the librarian at ACC, and Joseph the headteacher (principal).
Today we restocked Bat Valley Primary, which was provided in 2007. Libraries of Love never leaves a library. Libraries are restocked as needed, and librarian training is continuous. The library looked fresh.
Amazing first night for the team. We had a great time with Juma and Santos – two of our sponsored, plus Pastor Cephas, Claire, and their children – Vessel, Temple, Zipporah, and the twins. Juma and Santos shared their stories of how sponsorship changed their lives, and the Pastor and Claire shared the miracle of the twins birth. Also, we had a good time singing.
This team is incredible. They restocked Kings College-Budo in record time — with help from their friends. Impressive!
Our library we restocked today at Kings College is housed in a beautiful church built in the twenties. It looks like churches in Europe. We provided this library in 2010.
Intense work with a beautiful outcome! Go team go! Three new libraries provided, four previous libraries restocked! (June 13)
Amazing reading competition between Libraries of Love secondary schools today. Meet Harriet Tubman, Cleopatra, and Barack Obama. This category was to read a book about someone you considered a hero, dress up as that person, and give a book summary.
The team enjoyed sports day at Namirembe Primary School. They were very popular with the kids. 🙂
One more beautiful library completed!
Need more vinyl flooring? Then go get some on a boda, what they call their motorcycle taxis here.
A Boda driver I used today badly needed some new shoes. I am forever grateful to those who donate to make these good deeds possible. Libraries of Love: more than just books … spreading sunshine.
The 2019 team had a great time playing games, reading stories, and singing with many of our sponsored in Mbale.
One of our librarians reading to her class! Sweet!
Time to say goodbye to this wonderful team. They have accomplished so much and were a blessing to many. We are going for an evening of worship at the Africans Children’s Choir and then off to the airport!
We are thrilled with the donation of over 4,000 new, hardback books from Coughlan Companies. It reminds me of the first lines of a song, ‘It’s raining, it’s pouring….’. We love it and are very grateful for their generosity! Pictured are samples of the books. Great books!
We are thankful for MackinEducational Resources. They have supported Libraries of Love with hundreds of books each year. They provide a wonderful variety of hardback easy, fiction, and non-fiction books.
We thank the management at the Barnes & Noble store in Round Rock for choosing Libraries of Love as their seasonal charity this year. Also, thanks to all the volunteers who came on weekends to represent us and to all of you who donated books. We collected 883 books. There will be some smiles in Uganda!