Good News - March 2020
Libraries, Literacy and Educational Opportunities
Elizabeth's Library, (as have all of you) has been faced with challenges concerning the COVID19 pandemic which has led to the the temporary closure of our libraries in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and a delay in opening our new library in Malawi. Our libraries in Zambia and Zimbabwe were important assets in their respective communities, so a temporary closure is difficult for them. The community in Lilongwe, Malawi has eagerly been waiting for the opening day of Elizabeth’s Library to have access to educational resources that are currently unavailable for private and school use
SUSU VILLAGE, ZAMBIA
The Susu mobile library program continued their outreach to ten village schools reaching five thousand students until the the very last day before closure. ELI is grateful for the generous donation from Sanctuary Bible Church in Carmel Valley, California, to fund the purchase of a brand new motorcycle for the the mobile library program.With the motorcycle, the mobile library can expand to serve five more remote schools as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted. The ELI staff are working with a local craftsman to design and fit a book box carrier on the new motorcycle. These much needed resources will encourage learning and bring joy to many students waiting for library day. It has been estimated that with the addition of these new schools participating in the mobile library program, several thousand more students will be reached with these educational resources.
GOAT HERD UPDATE
Mr. Kenneth (ELI Zambia Director) and his team are planning to add a new breed of goats to the herd that are known for their high milk production. It is their desire that construction of the new goat milking barn can start by the end of May, and excitement abounds for this much needed nutrition source for the Susu Village School children!
The Domboshava library was officially opened last July and now has an average of 200 weekly visitors! The resources are especially appreciated and used by secondary school students doing research for their classroom assignments as there are limited resources available in their schools. At the community's request, a very successful after school tutoring program meets in the community room of the library. The local staff is exploring the requirements to expand this program and register it as a secondary school. With the temporary closure this has really impacted the tutoring program.
Another big thank you goes to the fellowship of Sanctuary Bible Church (Carmel Valley, California) for their gift of funding to re-open the very first Elizabeth's Library in Lilongwe, Malawi! In early March the much needed facility upgrades began, including the crafting of new library furniture. The official opening is now delayed until the Malawi government reopens the schools, but Mr. Fischer Mvula, the new ELI Director reports that the renovations will continue. Once the open date is scheduled, local school headmasters and teachers will be invited to see the educational resources now available for their use, and for their students.
Libraries are a valuable resource in all cultures and countries to provide access to learning, literacy, and to provide possibilities for a better future where opportunities are limited. So as the world community waits upon this virus to pass us by, and so that our libraries can be the very tool they are intended to be, ELI is preparing book boxes for shipping. We want to be prepared on the day the doors are opened to provide the very best resources for all three libraries; your gift of any amount to help with shipping costs is so appreciated! We are so looking forward to bringing you new stories and pictures of the good things that are happening through ELI!