Izzy Bloomfield, a trustee of a little bit of HOPE, is off to Uganda on Friday. Before she leaves she tells us about the exciting things going on in Busolwe Public Library…
Busolwe Public Library continues to be a central hub within the community, always buzzing with activity! a little bit of HOPE works in partnership with the library, enabling them to employ a librarian, Rose, to oversee and plan activities and provide support to those that make use of its various facilitates. It is continuing to develop into much more than just a library. Aiming to improve the overall reading culture within Busolwe and beyond, the library welcomes up to seven schools a day, whose pupils revise there, or carry out research. It’s an exciting place to be, and one that is appreciated by so many in the district.
Of course, one of the main facilities within the library is its resource of books. Most often borrowed are its story books for children, science books for secondary school exams, and novels – many of which have been donated by supporters of a little bit of HOPE – Thank you! However, much more goes on in this place; things that we hope you will become as excited about as those involved in Busolwe.
In April, computer training courses were underway at the library, providing training for a number of teachers from nearby schools, run by Charles, who facilitated the last a little bit of HOPE IT training course and now volunteers at the library. The courses proved popular, and all who attended completed the training successfully, expressing their joy at having learnt the skills. Some came with very basic knowledge and experience of computers, but many had never used one before. For us in the UK, it’s hard to imagine learning how to use a computer completely from scratch; how to use a keyboard, how to shut down the computer, how to use Microsoft Word and search on the internet. By the end of the course, all of the teachers had learnt basic skills and opened email accounts.
You may be asking yourself, understandably, what actual impact this training will have for these teachers. Well, one of the main components of the training course is learning how to use the African Storybook Project (ASP). It’s a continent-wide project, which aims to enable all African children to have access to stories in their own local language, in order to practise reading and develop their reading and writing skills; the benefits of story books for children are universal! The ASP website is an open forum and database that collects stories in English and local languages, which can then be translated by public users into any local language. If you go on the website today you’ll see some stories which have been translated into the local language of Busolwe, ‘Lunyole’, by some very familiar Ugandan faces!
Owari Jonah is one person who has benefited from access to computer training and the ASP online tools. After visiting the website he gained skills and experience which enabled him to create stories of his own, that can be shared with children from his own community. Owari went home and told two of his colleagues of his excitement, who came to the library the next day to have the same experience. They are now hoping to join the computer training course, so they can benefit in the same way.
As ever we want to thank everybody who has given money to a little bit of HOPE, allowing us to support the library to employ Rose. As you can see, Rose and the library continue to make a huge difference in the local community. If you would like to start supporting the library or projects like this please go to https://alittlebitofhope.org/give/. This year we are hoping the get 20 people giving £14 a month – can you help us reach this target?