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.

Refresh your mask collection!

Refresh your mask collection this month by making a donation. Everyone making a donation of $20 or more will receive a mask from Uganda! These were sewn by Shamilah, a seamstress in Uganda who specializes in clothing but also teaches girls in her village to sew, a valuable money-making skill. Shamilah uses her income to support her family and send her children to school. Your donation not only helps Shamilah but also helps us continue our work of creating libraries and improving literacy around the world. Thank you for your support!

Doors and windows installed

Work has continued steadily on the library in Uganda. Doors and windows have been installed, along with glass. Doors and windows are sold without glass; that is installed afterwards, funding allowing. Interior work is now underway on the ceiling. Several little friends have been helping with fetching water for construction. 🙂

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 info@librariesfortheworld.org. 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.

COVID-19 pandemic

How things have changed over the past couple of weeks! Uganda is in a very precarious place right now. President Museveni has implemented tight restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Uganda’s healthcare system is not equipped for this pandemic. There are only 55 ICU beds in the entire country. That means 55 ventilators for a population of over 44 million!

Most people do not have access to clean water in their homes. There’s not enough hand sanitizer to go around. Denis has said that people are scared. They know that fighting off the contagious and aggressive virus will be difficult if a large outbreak occurs. To add misery to the fear, torrential rains have ruined many crops. And just today, people began looting in Kampala, the capital. Many people live day-to-day, and some families are already worried about food shortages as businesses and retail stores shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. Public transportation has also been shut down; most people do not own vehicles but rely on bodas (motorcycle taxis) to get around. Because so much business has been shut down, people are already struggling to earn an income. If the tight restrictions continue, people will run out of food and money very quickly. Denis has requested your prayers for the people of his country. He also foresees food shortages for many families whose crops have been ruined.

Some positive stories from the past several weeks: Women in the village get together every Thursday to consolidate their money and make loans to each other . The women’s cooperative is named “Aimoro Ichani,” which means “Sharing poverty.” They are currently saving money to purchase piglets for everyone in the group.

The women of Tororo celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th. Female students marched in their school uniforms and the women of the district wore their best dresses for the celebration.

In the book “The Moment of Lift,” Melinda Gates discusses the transformations that can happen in society when we empower women. Our hope is that the community center and library will hold programs to empower women and serve as a gathering place to lift up women and children, which in turn will improve the future of everyone in the community. – DC

Photo by Denis Okiru

Update from Denis

A note from Denis:

Year 2020 brings us to a year of hard work and sacrifice. We are thankful and we give grace to God who has made us alive and strong. Our struggles continue in a positive perspective although amidst a few manageable challenges.

The process of construction of the children centre and library project is ongoing. We are thankful for the donations and hopeful that we continue to touch the hearts of all those who sacrifice to support the project here.

With your support we have managed to reach the roofing phase. So far we have paid for the timber, bought nails and now we are challenged with the purchase of 60 iron sheets for covering the roof and paying for the labour needed. This work is supposed to be undertaken as soon we get the funds. After roofing we will move to the next phase of fixing doors and windows.

Besides construction, we can touch lives of children here in my community by supporting their educational needs and above all provide them with psycho social care and support as a team in that, we will reach our targets.

As children are getting back to school, we have been involved in collecting scholastic supplies and also finding sponsors for our needy community children so that they can get affordable education geared towards improving the live standards of children and their families.

In conclusion, let’s join hands to contribute and support the Children centre and library project. The holistic care, support, growth, and development of children is our priority. “A hand which gives receives a handful of blessings” Hope to hear from you.

Denis

Director- CCL Project Africa Uganda

Photo by Denis Okiru

Torrential rains bring flooding

The Tororo region of Uganda has experienced torrential rainfall in the past few weeks. Before the rain began pouring down, work on the wall plate was completed. Now we’re waiting for more funding so that Denis and his crew can finish the roofing, including installing iron sheeting. Tragedy struck Denis’ village last week when heavy rain flooded a nearby river that borders Kenya. One of Denis’ neighbors was swept away in the flooded river with her son. Denis and his neighbors searched for days until they finally found the bodies. The woman’s 16-year-old daughter is now an orphan. The father died about 10 years ago. Keep this teen in your thoughts, and pray for her if you’re a praying person. When I last asked Denis about her, the community was still in shock over the deaths, so I’m not sure where the girl is going to live or with whom.

On a more positive note, over the past several weeks, we’ve received many donated books from the Amazon wish list – thank you! A colleague of ours – Judy – volunteered at a school in Guatemala a couple of years ago and purchased many beautiful titles to add to the library’s collection. We’ve recently added adult titles by African writers to the wish list, since the library will also serve adults. The wish list can be found at https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3OM8ZI6JWB947?ref_=wl_share

By the way, if you subscribe to Disney’s streaming video service, check out the inspirational film “Queen of Katwe.” It’s based on a true story and is set in Kampala, Uganda. – DC

Photo by Denis Okiru

Roofwork has begun

The roofing work has started! Denis and his crew have been working on the beams to prepare for the iron sheeting which will go on the roof. This work would not have been possible without your donations. In fact, work on this center had stopped over the summer because of a lack of funds.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve run across a few biographies at used book stores that will work well in this community library. As a librarian, I get excited when I see books that I know they can use in Uganda, so I’ve already started saving books for this project. If you’d like to donate books, please email me at debbie.chavez@librariesfortheworld.org. – DC