In addition to poor educational systems in Tanzania, the lack of educational resources has a significant impact on rural areas. Schools have no books, reading material in homes is non-existent due to economic factors and this condition plays a role in the low literacy rates in villages. Our free library offers local newspapers, school textbooks and a fully equipped internet connected computer lab as well as programs that teach the community how to use these resources to their best advantage.
Although money is allocated for schools, public libraries don't exist in rural areas. The cost of books is so high relative to rural income, it would cost the equivalent of a month's salary to purchase just one textbook for a child in school. Folks living in poverty here have no access to the very materials created to help lift them from that poverty. Lack of access to educational material marginalizes the poor in a way that renders them unable to participate in their own development decisions.
Our library has several copies of each textbook used at the primary and secondary level for students who cannot afford to buy them. We also provide local newspapers to adults interested in local politics and development issues. The library also has a fully staffed, free, internet-accessible computer lab with links to resources in local languages. We supply the community with these resources in a clean, safe and supported space and teach them how to use the material to their benefit.
The programs and educational material that we provide to the community will lift literacy rates and empower people to change their lives both educationally and economically. As this community begins to climb out of poverty, more children will be able to attend traditional schools, more businesses will thrive and people will be able to take advantage of technological solutions. We currently have hundreds of people in our programs and serve over 200 patrons every day at the library.