Friday, July 20, 2012

High School Happenings

Mengo Secondary School literary club members meet in their new library.

True success stories
July 3, 2012 - Usually, I write about our primary schools, as they are a larger number. However, I am in
awe of our Kampala secondary libraries. Let me explain …

Mengo SS (new library): The library is constantly full. The librarian, Timothy, started a literary club the week after the library was finished (see photo above). I shared with this club during one of their first meetings. Listening to their book discussions was simply inspirational! The group has become so large, the librarian is
now breaking it down into literary clubs for 8th and 9th grade, 10th and 11th, and 12th. Many of these students are from Namirembe Primary and the African Children’s Choir schools, which have LOL
libraries – so they were already solid readers when entering secondary school. Uplands High School: I could hardly shelf the new books because of the swarm of students wanting to look at them. They especially love Guinness Book of World Records! One girl and her brother came into the library. She said she had read
almost every book. She then moved along the shelves giving summaries of the various books to our LOL team.

Bombo Road Military High School: There are so many students crowding into the library to borrow books, they have decided to move the LOL library out of the textbook facility into a separate room!

King’s College – Budo (secondary school): The library is always full of students in this beautiful church which was renovated to house the LOL library. The headmaster again said their biggest problem is that the students want to cut classes to go to the library – and sometimes library books are hidden behind textbooks. Cheers for our Kampala high schools and students who love to read!

Volunteers read with students in a newly restocked library.

Great volunteers
The LOL 2012 team was amazing! They quickly bonded, and we had a fantastic time working and sharing together. They accomplished endless work, but also had time to enjoy this beautiful country and its sights. I loved having them here. Our gratitude to each, for traveling here.

Constantly busy
Yesterday I had a meeting with our 14 Kampala librarians. It was exciting to hear the positive comments concerning their libraries, as well as brainstorming solutions to problems they face.

Example of a problem: Students borrow books and then can’t pay school fees – so don’t return to school. They then try to switch schools, or just don’t attend. How then do you track books when parents don’t have email and many don’t have phones? Definitely a problem…

Last week, I put together a library in Kamwenge – a village high in the hills of Western Uganda. Few white people make it to this village. The school management committee was so grateful, they gave money to my host family, a present of 6 yards of African material to me, treated me to lunch, and donated 150,000 schillings ($62) to help with my transport cost! I’m sure it was a huge sacrifice for the school. What can I say – except thank you to our donors and volunteers that make these libraries possible… and may God bless these good people in Kamwenge. While waiting on the bus for an hour and a half at Kamwenge, I played my accordion by the road. I soon had a ‘choir,’ as various people joined in to sing – and endless others came to listen. A true Sunday morning ‘singspiration.’!

After arriving in Kampala, I got off the bus and hailed a motorcycle taxi. I then put my suitcase in front of the driver, and climbed on with my big bag of electronics, my accordion, and purse. Fun way to live! I know you would like to try this!

Thank you, as always, for reading about my journey. Thank you also for your prayers and support. Libraries of Love is successful because you care. May God bless you.

- Trudy