Testimonial from Esperant Kazzembe

Esperant Kazzembe poses for a photograph.

Opening quote 

Esperant Kazzembe – 18 yrs. 11th grade

Just like they say, “It takes one man to change the world,” I would modify this quote by saying that it takes one book to hook children into reading.

Biography and a history of me
I was born on Feb 15, 1997 in Democratic Republic of Congo in a small town known as Goma. Both of my parents died in wars of 2003 leaving two of my siblings and me on earth. Life became hard at this moments, I was young but mature enough to feel the hardship that we all experienced in our parents’ absentia. Life did raced with us up to when my maternal grandparents sent our uncle to pick us up from where we were. We started living with our grandparents and joined school later on.

We peaceful lived in Congo with our grandparents, not until we had our first attack on Dec 15, 2006. It was around seven o’clock in the evening, our front door was knocked and we saw people with masks getting into the house and immediately killed our grandparents. Here is when we all run from the house and decided to leave the country to acquire for refuge in Uganda one month later.

Meeting Libraries of Love

We had challenges in Uganda throughout with my family as a foreign country but all this changed for me when I met a sponsor through Libraries of Love. I was very hopeless in school because I was always chased out of classes due to school fees. Not until I met Mr Dave when Madam Trudy brought a group of experts from America to come and install shelves for books at our school in 2010.

Here, I not only received a sponsor but also a library that was outstanding. We didn’t how it felt like to go to a library and pick a book of someone’s interests. Most books in the old library for my school were torn and old that we could not even borrow them. I started taking books for reading since I didn’t speak English that good. One book surprised me up to now, this book was titled Democratic Republic of Congo, I did not know much history about my country but surprisingly, this book that was written in America had all what I needed to know about my country. I became interested in reading more and more books up to when I left primary in 2012.

Our school improved in English speaking, rules of not speaking vernacular at school were introduced since most of us had improved by reading the books from Libraries of Love. We started using more dictionary words since we read different interesting stories with difficult words that we had to look up.

Importance of Libraries of Love in my life.

As I earlier mentioned, I was very hopeless and didn’t know how to continue with school since my grandmother did not have enough money to pay for my school fees. Had it not been God bringing me a sponsor, I could have dropped long time ago, and maybe I could not able to be here today. My sponsor and his wife supported me, not only with school fee but also with so many unmentioned things. Books from libraries of Love Changed me just like they are changing lives in Uganda.

I admire Madam Trudy’s heart and love for supporting the people in need. She risks to go deep into rural areas where there is neither security nor lights to just seek for the kids who are in need of education and put them in schools. She always asked for my school fees from Mr Dave and Madam Beth on time which she does for the rest of the sponsored kids, taking visits to schools and ensure the wellbeing of the Libraries.

I would wish if everyone is given the same opportunity that I was given by God to have a sponsor and books that everyone could read to stick with education to change lives down in Africa. I would like to thank all the sponsors of Libraries of Love because they are doing a great job for the needy children in school. Thank you. May God bless you.

– Esperant Kazzembe

Testimonial from Julius Zake

Julius Zake poses for a photograph.

From: Julius Zake
To: librariesoflove@sbcglobal.net
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 3:34 AM
Subject: Appreciation & Request

Hello Libraries of Love,

I’d like to thank you for your work in my home country Uganda, especially the work the organization has done with children’s and school libraries. The need to improve and build the African child’s reading skill is slowly but surely being realized thanks to organizations such as yours.

I was a student at Mengo Senior School – one of the schools you donate books to. I remember the first book I borrowed (back in 2007), it had been donated by Libraries of Love. This book was about growing fruits and vegetables, in a few weeks I was eating the cabbages I had grown thanks to the knowledge I’d obtained from that book. I even managed to plant an avocado tree! Sadly it didn’t survive the harsh cold weather at the time. Since I had enjoyed my first applied practical read, I encouraged my friends to visit the library and find a nice book. I told them, “That place is not just a store anymore, it’s a knowledge palace.” All of them borrowed books that evening, from novels to reference books to biographies on various subjects. We were finally enjoying reading, it was no longer a form of “torture” as we’d been brought to believe. We could finally access quality information and either apply it in our lives or simply enjoy thanks to the donation by Libraries of Love.
After my high school studies, I decided to pursue a Bachelors degree in Library and Information Science at Uganda Christian University. I chose the course and place to do it because of my deep admiration for the work your organization had done. My passion became delivering quality, needed information to people of all ages starting with the youngest. The beauty with the young ones is that they are still developing their reading skills, so books are a viable tactile and easy medium for them to learn from. I managed to graduate top of my class with an impressive GPA of 4.9 out of 5. This would never have been possible had it not been for that book I got from the Mengo school library that stirred up this passion in me. I definitely had to thank Libraries of Love.

Currently, I’m working with Orel-Vine International Academy which is also a Christian school – as their librarian and information systems officer. To me, one of the most impressive things about the school is what it stands for. The school motto is derived from Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” This gives me a chance to make a difference with people that have the same ambition in terms of learning and information literacy. The only problem could be the fact that we have a very low stock of books to serve the children ranging from 2 to 9 years and yet these are the ages at which children are most eager to learn. The school is new and as with most schools, may have to develop other sections before the library is fully prioritized. For now though, we have to rely on donations such as those from your organization to build our book collection. So I humbly ask, please please, as you have done before for children like me, inspire the youngsters at Orel-Vine to start reading at an early age through a donation. I’m very sure, even as the Bible says, when they grow they will not turn away from the awesome habit that is reading.
Otherwise, thank you so much for everything you do. We honestly do appreciate. Libraries of Love is changing lives in ways you probably do not know about. I can testify to that.

God bless you all,
Julius Zake