Uganda – Abwanget Grand Opening

Grand opening day finally arrived! Children from the village attended, as well as students from a nearby school, the village chairperson, and government officials. We learned that nothing happens in a village without the village chairperson’s blessing, and he was there to give his blessing. Dignitaries spoke to express their appreciation for our work and to encourage people to use the library. Students performed a song and dance, and after a ribbon-cutting, students and adults took turns to go through the library. The phrase we heard most often was, “We have never seen anything like this in all of eastern Uganda!”

Uganda – Day 5

Our final day before the grand opening was full of activity. We swept the floor before laying down vinyl flooring. We also cranked up the music so that the children could have a dance party! Many of the children were going to be in school the next day, so we gave them the opportunity to celebrate the library opening before the rest of the community. We also discovered a local food vendor who made delicious chapati and rolexes. Chapati is an Indian flatbread, and when rolled up with an egg omelette, it becomes a rolex!

We visited two of the students whose education we sponsor. And we took a walk along a river that borders Kenya, just down the road from the village. There was a point along the river where people had thrown a wooden pole across the river, allowing people to balance like on a tightrope to cross the river. At another point, people crossed with a raft, pulling themselves along with a rope that had been strung from one side to the other. Both crossings were illegal, but people use them regularly to bring items such as flour more cheaply into the country.

Uganda – Day 4

We finally finished organizing all the books after buying even more bookcases! The local carpenter must have been sad to see us finish our work. 🙂 One of the local volunteers helped process the last of the books that had gone astray. And we planned and purchased items in Tororo for the grand opening on Monday.

Our organization sponsors children’s education, and the parent of a student stopped by to express her gratitude for our efforts. While education in Uganda is supposed to be free, families are responsible for purchasing textbooks and uniforms as well as paying fees that help with operating expenses. Many families are forced to choose which of their children they can afford to send to school.

Uganda – Day 3

The library was starting to come together by the third day! More bookshelves, tables, and a desk were ordered, and the crew continued organizing picture books, children’s fiction, teen fiction, and adult books. Children dropped by and started browsing for books. Local villagers also began dropping by to check out the progress happening in the library.

Uganda – Day 2 of work

Work continued on the second day with the finishing of the children’s nonfiction and starting on the picture books. More bookshelves needed to be ordered to accommodate all the books. We also purchased bins to house the nonfiction books by topic. The volunteers were amazing and caught on to the work quickly.

At long last – Uganda

Our volunteers arrived in Uganda! After several years of planning online, we finally worked together in person. On Day 1 of work, we unpacked boxes of books and sorted through them so that we could finish processing them. Local volunteers helped us sort through the nonfiction books and label them accordingly.

We shipped over 40 boxes of books several months before we arrived. The books traveled by boat to Kenya and then by truck to Uganda. The children’s nonfiction books needed to be arranged by topic, making it easier for children to browse for materials. After sorting the books by topic, volunteers labeled the front of the books, making it easier for the librarian to put the books away.

Painting work completed

It’s been a busy end to the summer, with painting being completed on the interior and exterior of the library in Uganda. The process involves hauling water from the community well, mixing the paint powder with water to make the paint, applying the paint on the wall, and then adding a protective glaze over the dried paint.

The end product is beautiful!

The work allowed locals to continue to earn a living during the pandemic, at a time when work can sometimes be hard to find.

Lead painter. Excellent work!

Solar power installation

Most of the village of Abwanget in Uganda does not have electricity. In order to have lighting, computers, a printer, and a computer projector, we need to install solar power. Work has begun on the installation of solar power, though more work still needs to be completed.

In addition, railing has been installed along the front porch, which will help keep young children safe as well as help those who need assistance with walking up the ramp along the side.

Thank you for continuing to support us on this journey to bring books and literacy to this community!

Plastering and painting the Uganda library

Workers have been busy completing plasterwork on the interior and exterior of the library building in Uganda. The workers are including intricate details to beautify the space.

Once the plastering was complete, the painting crew descended on the space! First primer, then a creamy yellow paint.

Thank you, supporters, for helping fund this space, allowing construction workers to continue to earn a living during the pandemic.

Roofing complete

The roofing is now complete on the library in Uganda! Rain interfered and slowed down some of the work, plus construction crews dealt with bouts of malaria and restrictions due to the pandemic. But workers persevered and completed construction last week. The next phase of construction involves installing doors and windows.

One of our goals is to help children stay in school when their families cannot afford to tuition, uniforms, and supplies. While students are not in school at the moment due to the pandemic, they will eventually return to school. Many families have been earning little to no income during the lockdown, so many children will not be able to return to school. If you are interested in sponsoring a child’s education, please email us at School is not free for children in Uganda. Primary school generally costs less than secondary school, and tuition and other costs usually come to less than $600 per year. Those costs are paid per quarter, not all at once.

Donations in general are being directed toward construction, so if you’d like to sponsor a child’s education, please make a note with the donation. Online donations can be made thru PayPal, but you can also send a check to: Libraries for the World, PO Box 1331, Round Rock TX 78680.