Projects - Social - Libraries
Only 54% of women and 75% of men in Malawi are literate in their own language, Chichewa. In Dedza it is likely to be worse than this because of the historically low provision of education in the scattered rural communities. However, people in the villages are determined to improve things for themselves and their children.
A community based organisation, the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) is organising rural libraries/resource centres. These are deliberately located in the villages rather than the towns. People from a group of villages get together to construct the building from sun dried clay bricks. It will usually be thatched and they may not be able to afford the cost of windows and door. Sometimes they are helped by a benefactor who buys the corrugated iron for the roof.
The people form a committee to run the library. NICE supply the libraries with copies of the Malawian national papers and government leaflets with health and agricultural information.
We were told that the libraries wanted English books so that the children, who learn English at primary school, had books to continue practicing reading during the school holidays. Several boxes of reference and reading books was sent to NICE in the last shipping container.
We would like to assist this initiative further with more English books and funds for books in Chichewa and for literacy teaching in both Chichewa and English. Help with this project would be appreciated.