Written by Zanzibar intern, Michael Cohendy
One of the initiatives in our Education and Empowerment Program is the organization of the school library in Kizimkazi. We realized that the school had quite a lot of books that were not being used in the curriculum and we looked for a way to use them. The best idea we got was to create a library that could provide children with both educational books and novels to create the spark that makes people want to read.
The school received donations from Books for Africa and we are working once a week with the Head Teacher, Haji, to register and classify all the books. This project is very important to the teachers as it will give them material to work on. Haji is convinced that the library will draw peoples attention toward the importance of education.
As the library is in its final stage of organization and is beginning to take form, we see it as an opportunity for the teachers to use a new and wide range of material to prepare their lessons. Thanks to many donations, the school library is as complete as any other library.
We spend one and a half hours per week with some students to teach them about the environment so I thought it was a good time to have a chat with them about how they would feel having a library at their school. First I tried to get them to tell me if they like to read, which they all do, but then they told me that their favourite books were English Form 2 or Environmental Science Level 1 and others like that. I realized they never had a chance to read a story before. Even though I was a bit worried, they all were exited about having the opportunity to discover new things and and not having to rely on the teachers to read.
By providing support through conservation education, books, various workshops and other resources, Happy Africa can empower the community, teaching them new skills that they can use to run their businesses whilst also protecting their resources and furthering their education.