Kitengesa Dear Friends: to pieces. We’ve lost some books over the years too, so this year we’ve made a serious effort to replace It is twelve years since Mawanda Emmanuel and both lost and damaged ones. We’ve also tried to get I founded the Kitengesa Community Library as a some more Luganda books. That was fun, because a box of books, and it is nine years since we moved friend of mine and I worked the street vendors along Community Library into our first building. Two years ago we moved Kampala Road. Most of their books are in English, into our new building, which has a computer but when they learned we wanted Luganda ones center and community hall in addition to the main they went scurrying around to look for them. They October 2011 reading room. The building has been in a seemingly September 2010 were able to help us replace books, but, sadly, they could interminable state of near-completion, but it is really more difficult one (the one closer to Dickens’ original offer us few new titles. Now we have to look for someDear Friends: finished now, lacking only some window really nearly to employ him formore enjoyable. three days a week, and he is already on Multilingualism and Education. It was a great prose) easier and new titles in English. glasses, mosquito netting, and paint. Thanks to your teaching typing skills on an old laptop and a few Alpha- experience for Gorreth and Elizabeth, it being their generosity we have enough money back from finish the Itʼs that time of year again: I am in hand to Uganda Smarts. In you about I’m telling a recent e-mail Julius told me how much his Another difficulty we’veconference—wellyear concerns ﬁrst international encountered this worth the hardshipandjob, and we’relet you knowofficial opening of the whole am eager to planning an about how things are new job means to him: “I am very very happy because these titles because the of traveling by bus! library scholars. In 2007 the government introducedgoing at Kitengesa. complex in January. now I know I will be able to save and top up on the … they illustrate another “Universal Secondary Education” has been fully occupied with Dan, our chief librarian, (USE), which means Our main preoccupation, this year as last, has been tuition fees my friend decided to give me, so I think of it thatsupervising the like Kitengesa looking after the Canadian it pays schools building and Comprehensivethe The physical development has been built the basic construction of our new building. We as a great opportunity for me.” It is also a great oppor- Secondary School ahe continues his for every promoting volunteers, but capitation grant work of studentstructure in 2008 and in 2009 ﬁnished two rooms—the remarkable—and most impressive tunity for the library, and for all those in Kitengesa who who gets a high enough forward this year hasLeaving reading. A big step grade in the Primary been mak-librarythe villagers—butroom that will eventually be a to proper, and the the social and want to become proﬁcient with computers. Exam. Initially we decided three nearby primary schools to ing arrangements for to recruit our scholars from educational development that thecomputer center. This year our ﬁrst priority was to build among those who did not receive this grant; but that during send three classes each to the library every week library has brought about is, I think, proved a bad policy, because the scholars were in each class,toilets, and Iʼm happy to say that they are now com- school hours. Since there are ﬁfty children not more significant. In July I spent nearly as good as their predecessors. So now we’replete. Afri-Pads, the company that has converted our the library is now serving 450 children every week during a whole week in Kitengesa, and recruiting from the whole student body again, and USEold sitting in the library was able to see (and is employing building into a tailoring workshop term time. This project was given a great boost in April students receive the amount of their grant towardssome twentyhow it girls, including a couple of our former much of local is used by different general education expenses. But the grant is nowhere (UgCLA). by the Uganda Community Libraries AssociationLibrary Scholars) has contributed thethe cost. So their girls sectors of the community. On to A US-based funder, Pockets of Change, gave UgCLA near enough to cover the costsare Monday of that week everything the stalls—a great now using and caring for one of funds to distribute arunning the school, so Mr. childrenʼs of set of locally purchasedexample of institutional collaboration at the local level. was quiet at first, with only the books to ten member libraries. The distribution was Mawanda has asked parents,Otherwisescholars there sortingon ﬁnishing the third library our focus has been out based on proposals that the libraries submitted, and even of USE students, to makeroom, which is to be troupe of primary Now the hall books. But soon a a community hall. the Kitengesa library was one ofThe net result (I am the a contribution. the winners. isﬂoor and walls arearrived, the verandah has a ﬂoor and school children done, led by one interesting development Chairperson of UgCLA, but there was no conﬂict of inter- that we, who are relieving theceiling, and the doors and window settled down on of our Canadian volunteers. They frames have been in the library. When we est because the Pockets of Change directors made the parents of these costs, must nowinstalled; but we still have to build to a story. Then a their new mats in the hall to listen steps, paint the first started tracking decisions). These pay more forproved immensely popular, books have each library scholar. crowd of secondary school students came in, not the secondary schoolwalls, and ﬁnish the ﬂoors and windows. Only after and many of the children are (the coming to the On average now fees differ for library for a scheduled library period but because they had students’ preferences different years), it comes to $150that will we be able to turn the hall and the compound on their own. Some of those children are featured in the some free time. They were followed by another lot of with the box of books, per year. So, please, if you wish tointoprimary school children coming for more story time; an income-generating asset. the genre that we called photograph on this page. sponsor a scholar, can you send Physical work on the computer center has been and then the Women’s Group turned up to be taught The Lwannunda Womenʼs Group, which is closely as- “Traditional Stories” was Thanks to your that amount? us generous support, the library hasin abeyance this year. Weʼve been using thesundry as a how to type on the computer. Meanwhile room young sociated with the most is also ﬂourishing. The women far and away the library, become an important local institution. But we are notmeeting had established themselves thethe tables and it men space—and until we ﬁnish at hall we need presented a proposal to the UN One Per Cent Fund this popular, with “Modern self-suﬃcient yet: we must tell, we the still and we As you can ﬁnish are hall,badly. However, reading. One finished the Luganda story were quietly weʼre building our capacity to oﬀer com- year, and as a result they now have 200 chairs which Stories”—mostly stories set in present-day Africa— dependentcontinue to pay salaries we’re buy newspapers and must on your generosity, though and moving towardsputer services by employing went of ourMojo the Street Gattimpa Gatimpule and one on to most loyal library they cansecond. Now the library users’ tastes seem to coming rent out to raise money for the many orphans self-sufficiency. Thank $5000 for bringing us this far. $3000 for books. We need you all for the building andusers, Julius Ssentume, as a computer in King Arthur and Boy; another was deeply absorbed assistant. Julius that they care for. Gorreth, into library assistant, began have widened, particularly our the genre that we call recurrent expenses. Can you help us raise this money?is a the Knights of the Round Table.institution, Kitengesa former student of our partner Later in the week I met facilitating a Family Literacyexciting with for Igroup last “Classics.” Interesting, and Project too, the believe Kate ParryComprehensive was reading Alice and is now beginning another who Secondary School, in Wonderland (it was year.we are here witnessing the April in of what have a that She took some time oﬀ in growth order to Kate Parry Hunter College, CUNYto study part-time at he said), and still later onein Masaka “very interesting,” Mutesa I Royal University came Ugandans call “a reading culture.” baby—an adorable little boy named Precious—but the Hunter College, CUNY to ask me about the difference between two editionstown. He had no computer skills to begin with, but he has group was eager to resume and is now romping through Please make checks out to FAVL (Friends of African of the same book that he was reading. The book was Of course, we can’t expect everything to be plain sailing. Village Libraries) and mail them to FAVL, P Box 90533, .O.been learning everything that he can from the volunteers another unit based on material supplied to me by the Please make checks out to FAVL (Friends of African Great Expectations, in two simplified versions, and, The increased numbers of primary school children using San Jose, CA 95109-3533. Write “Kitengesa Communitythatinterestingly enough, he was findingsends to Kitengesa the University of British Columbia the supposedly South African Familyour booksProject. rapidly read the library mean that Literacy are being Village Libraries) and mail them to FAVL, P.O. Box Library” on the memo line of the check. Thank you!so that by now he has become quite an expert. The two Gorreth and I, together with a Makerere student 90533, San Jose, CA 95109-3533. Write “Kitengesaresearchers who visited Kitengesa last year have gener- named Elizabeth Kirabo, went to Nairobi in July Community Library” on the memo line of the check.ously provided a fellowship for him so that we can aﬀord to make a presentation about the project at a conference Thank you!
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