Most schools in Zambia have no books and no access to books. When I first started trying to provide libraries in the Ndola area, there were no functioning public libraries and no bookshops for hundreds of miles and there were almost no books in any schools. Things have now slowly begun to change. We have provided books to many schools and children have a real interest in learning.
Most schools still do not have books and many schools are so poorly built and equipped that they have no facilities to hold books. We cannot give them books because they cannot hold them. The solution, therefore, is that we can provide libraries where all schools can have access to books, and indeed where those who are not attending schools at all can access books.
Our first library did not have a physical space, in that we distributed approximately 24 tons of books among many schools in the area around Ndola, to constitute one large shared library which we call the Sr Grace Library. After that, we provided doors and windows in two of our 40-foot shipping containers and set them up as public libraries, accessible to all free of charge. Those libraries have thrived and to support their development we have now employed four librarians. Our big project at the moment is that we are planning to construct a purpose-built 140 seat public library in Chipulukusu.
Read more about these libraries in the links below.