Kikulu Zone Community Library is one of the (16) sixteen community-based libraries linked to PeerLink Initiative Uganda (PELI-U) an organization that works through a Community Library and Empowerment Center model and facilitates and supports the setting up of community-based libraries.
Kikulu Zone Community Library is located in Kikulu Zone, Kikaaya Parish, Kawempe Division, Kampala District. It was started by Kikulu Zone LC1 leadership and is housed in a space donated by Kikulu Zone Chairperson. The library serves as a venue through which community members’ access information, reading space, reading and learning materials, guidance and counseling services and network and partnership opportunities. The goal is to increase access to reading and learning materials to Kikulu zone community members.
The library was launched on 15th September 2021 at its premises in Kikulu Zone. The library currently holds over 500 books both new and old received from Uganda Community Libraries Association (UgCLA) through Book Aid International (BAI) purchases and gifts. The library has got a committee of 5 members headed by Bukenya Ismail.
The Mpolyabigere Community Library received 256 new books from UgCLA through Book Aid International donations. Below are two photos: 1. Father Cornelius Wambi Gulere and the readers, and Cornelius, Ugcla Coordinator, and the books received.
UgCLA member libraries participated in a community reading award micro project by Book Aid International where 4 managed to go through; Marko Lukooya Community Library, Mpolyabigere community Library, Mummy Foundation Community Library and Katakwi community Library. The award called for project ideas where all those winners selected are to receive 1400 pounds each to implement the project from September 2021 to June 2022. UgCLA will be the supervising partner on behalf of BAI.
Muhammad, an assistant librarian at Kitengesa Community Library in Uganda, sent a short note that the library held a reading day event, with 16 pupils from the local school for the deaf, 20 pupils from St. Joseph Lwannunda, 35 village youth including some teachers. A big turnout for reading and promoting the library!
Bugolobi library in Uganda was operating normally in 2020 until the pandemic hit in March. A lockdown was announced and remained in place until June. The library remained closed for the duration of the lockdown. Children were prohibited from the library due to difficulties in enforcing the health and safety measures, but teenagers and adults had access. The library was closed again in October due to the public atmosphere but had become fully operational by January 2021 with health measures fully in place. The librarian faced many challenges, particularly in the difficulty of traveling, but has persevered and made headway in reorganizing the library and adopting good hygiene practices.
The Kitengesa Community Library’s Covid Catchup scheme has taken off! Assistant librarian Muhammad has downloaded curriculum materials made available by Uganda’s National Curriculum Development Council, made printouts of them, and he and his colleague Moses are lending them to students—who observe social distancing and wear masks when they come to the library. Thank you, Muhammad and Moses!
Some news from the Ghana libraries supported by FAVL from Paul Ayuretoliya:
Everything is moving on quite well, the rehabilitation works at Gowrie Kunkua community library is still ongoing with the building part almost been completed. I recently paid them a visit to monitor progress of work, the masons and community members were on site happily carrying out the building works. The Corona pandemic is still on the rise in Ghana, wearing of nose or face mask is now mandatory in Ghana as directed the the president, despite this directives many are still seen around without nose masks, the police working together with the military are on the lookout to arrest persons who defied these directives. All libraries across Ghana are still closed to the public. We are optimistic that soon the will be some kind of ease on the restrictions on the libraries to allow some category of users to start patronage. For our community libraries that is Sumbrungu and Sherigu, CESRUD in a bid to aid reading at the library have instituted some small measures in its own little that allows only few person read at the library. Some of these users are University students who are learning via online among others. We are ensuring that the social distancing are strictly adhere whenever the libraries are to be use.
Thursday, February 6, was the last full day of the Kitengesa Community Library’s 2020 Youth Health Camp. The participants were 20 students (10 girls and 10 boys) who were just beginning their second year at secondary school. They had spent eight days learning about health issues, especially about nutrition, HIV-AIDS, and the most common cancers in Uganda. This being the last day, they were reviewing some of the material, and when I arrived the head librarian and the visiting health professional were fielding questions about dangerous practices such as smoking. Why do policemen smoke, a student asked, if they know it is not good for them? This led to a discussion of the attractions of smoking and the dangers of addiction.
Then each student was asked to name a topic they were going to research and make a presentation on the next day. The most popular topic was “balanced diet”, with several saying they would concentrate on particular vegetables (carrot, cabbage, or dodo, which is a local kind of spinach. Others chose to work on HIV-AIDS, and one said he would research Uganda’s three most common cancers. A few made trial presentations, and then they all spent the hour before lunch working on their projects.
After lunch the group followed the usual routine in discussing the meal they had just eaten and identifying the nutritional properties of each item. Then they went back to their research, a few on computers (even though the library has only two working ones), a few on smart phones (again, there were only two), and several reading books. Most worked in groups, and all were busy making notes. The librarians told me that the students’ ability to get information from written text has noticeably improved, and they commented on how important it was to have ten days for the camp rather than six, as they had last year.
So now we are looking for funds to support future camps—we would like to have one for older students about environmental concerns—and also to buy computers for the students to do their research. What the librarians have done this year is excellent, but it could be so much better with more equipment!
The Kitengesa Community Library has held a health camp for teenagers almost every year now since 2014. The camp focuses on nutrition and on prevention and treatment of HIV-AIDS; and in the present one we are also introducing a session on cancer. The students, who are just beginning Senior Two, are 13-14 years old, an age when they really need to know about these matters. Many of them will continue to work with the librarians after the camp as members of the Youth Leadership Group, working to spread the word about what they’ve learned and to cultivate nutritious food crops themselves.
The 2020 Youth Health Camp is taking place in the library right now, and Ssebuuma Muhammad one of the librarians, has just sent this set of pictures. FAVL director Kate Parry expectd to visit the library this coming Thursday and Friday to take part in the last day of activities and in the closing ceremony.