After 15 years, we have decided to close the doors on Grassroots Uganda. Fortunately, our sister organizations ‘ Project Have Hope’ and ‘Help One Child Uganda’ have agreed to take over our libraries.
It has been both an honor and a privilege working with Librarians David and Peter, and the people of the Masese 2 and Walakuba communities. The outpouring of support we received from local community members as well as international sponsors has been amazing.
The libraries are changing lives in their communities. They are not only advocating for literacy, but they are helping tiny minds expand, explore, create, and dream.
I kindly request that you transfer your donations to support the Libraries to this new project. Until then, thank you all for the love and support you have given these past years. It means the world to these children, and to their future!
Really, all children deserve to have books in their lives. Fortunately, for some kids, we can make that happen! We had some extra books donated, and decided to give them out in Nateete village near the outskirts of Kampala. This village was selected because Mariam (Grassroots Uganda’s Program Officer) _ __ __ __ _ We spent the day playing, dancing, singing songs, and of course- passing out books!
While we do not currently have the funding or the resources to open a new library at this time, we were very happy brighten a few children’s day. After all, everyone deserves books!
We were lucky enough to have a quick visit from Solar Light for Africa shortly before the quarantine hit and the airports were shut down. They provided us with some new bulbs, tips for keeping the solar power running optimally, and of course a day of entertainment. The kids are always excited to have visitors and show off their books!
Because of them, kids can use the library to study at night, a projector can be brought in to show movies, and community members can have light and use the space after hours.
HUGE shout out to Solar light for Africa. Thanks for keeping out lights on!
Well, we really don't have much to report right now. Pretty much all of Uganda has been shut down for the last couple months, including our libraries, as the Govornment tries to squelch the spread of Covid-19. Pretty much all institutions except banks and food markets have been shut down, no public transport is allowed, people are not allowed to drive their own cars without written permission from the govornment, and there is a strict curfew before dusk.
It is a bleak everywhere right now, and all our fabulous books are just sitting on the shelves collecting dust. Fortunately, we are still able to pay our librarians so they can continue to support their families during this difficult time, and we and anxiously awaiting the day we can re-open!!!
"We've got to pause and ask ourselves,how much are we doing to make the young ones love books?"
~ David, GRU Librarian
When I was little my mother read to us every night before bed. It started with basic kids picture books that were mostly pictures and has simple plots, and ended with classics like Hatchet and Bunnicula. It was a luxury really- one that I did not realize I has until I came to Uganda. Here, most families do not have children's books. Many parents are illiterate and while cultural folklore is passed down through the art of storytelling, it differs from the indulgence of books.
Our libraries add a bit of that luxury that I had as a child. While our librarians are not reading the kids stories at bedtime, they do welcome children of all ages and sit with them and they are read stories. They explain the stories and translate them into the children's native tongue. They widen the children's imaginations and open up their worlds so when the kids are a bit older- they can read on their own.
It's a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but to these kids, the libraries are a pretty big deal.
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