Moving up the five cement stairs to the building at the back of Chikumbuso you immediately take notice that this is a popular place to be. Black school shoes, flip flops and sneakers litter the stairs. The door is ajar and the noise from with in filters through the space. This is the Chikumbuso Library, open to all students, widows, and youth. I listen to a variety of noises that greet me; the tapping of the computer keys from the fifth grade class learning the basics, shuffles and squeals from the Kindergartners during story time, the deep voices of the middle schoolers doing research.
Not long ago the library at Chikumbuso was just a dream but now it is a blessed reality. Children continue to be informed, widows learn to speak and read English, students find a well lit, quiet place to work.
We continue to count on you for the support of our library! It makes a world of difference to these children by putting at their fingertips a different world.
We want to thank so many of you for your help in getting the Chikumbuso library up and running!
Our volunteer Margi came to the school armed with computers, typing games, computer lesson plans and flip cameras! She diligently worked with a core group of women who had graduated from high school in January and were very interested in learning about computers and teaching others. Every day Margi had new classes and every day these girls grew in the knowledge of how to best use their computer skills to teach others.
Now our library is a buzz of energy as children, widows, and teenagers jockey to get time on the computer.
Obviously with 300 students we could still use more computers, more training, and more class time but we are well on our way! Thank you Margi and Carol Elliot for all you have done to get us up and running.
Please continue to help us with the Library as we try to bring encouragement to the trainers through gifts in kind and to our faithful librarian who helps the children with their books and class reports.
In many countries through out the world children are being armed, not with books, but with AK47's and other guns, knives , machetes. They are being asked to fight for causes that are not their own. Children all over Africa have had their childhood stolen through war, epidemics, or natural disasters. At Chikumbuso we want to give them their childhood back through education. This will be a weapon they will never have to put down.
Our community center is so blessed to not only have a library but to find in this library volunteers who have graduated from highschool and have come back to give back to Chikumbuso. Three young women have returned to Chikumbuso to work with students in the library on computers that have been donated to the center. We would like to ask that you become a part of our library by donating through global giving.
In September Chikumbuso applied for a grant from a US Library group hoping to get several new projects off the ground. We envisioned the library as a resource, not just for our students and staff, but also as an opportunity to reach out to the Ng’ombe community.
We haven’t heard back on our grant yet, but our dreams are slowly but surely becoming a reality. Through a connection with a large NGO, iConnect, a local internet provider, donated free air time to Chikumbuso. This has enabled us to have a bar-coded check out system for our library. We also have two computers – one for the library and one for administrative work. Finet, our librarian, has been working on her computer skills while setting up the library system.
In December, we were fortunate to have the Bush Family come and visit Chikumbuso. It was great to see Laura Bush (a librarian herself) in our library.
Next week, through the help of generous donors, we’ll be receiving additional computers for our library. A friend will be coming with the computers to do some classes and a local computer specialist will also be volunteering to “Train the Trainers” so Chikumbuso can begin teaching computer skills to our students and staff.
It never ceases to amaze me how vision can become a reality – often through unexpected sources. Thank you all, again, for your help with our library. It really is making a difference – it’s working, pongono, pongono, or bit by bit.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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