We did it despite pandemic …
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 books have 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.
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.