A Library for the Karama Education Center ~ Uganda
Now Africa Initiative (NAI) is an inspiring group of small-scale coffee farmers who are collectively registered as a social enterprise. Their mission is to contribute to the socio-economic transformation of rural Uganda through agricultural development and educational improvements. In 2016, with financial support from The Chain Collaborative, NAI organized into six working groups to build the Karama Education Center (KEC), which serves as both a primary school for children and a learning center for adults. While equipped with a nursery school addition, eight classroom blocks, and improved pit latrines, KEC does not have a functioning library to inspire students and support the community.
In 2018, with help from WaterBridge Outreach and its Writers for WaterBridge Outreach, NAI was able to purchase books and build furnishings to begin stocking the long-anticipated Now Africa Library at KEC. The library, housed in one of the classroom blocks, serves to enrich the primary school curricula with additional literacy activities that will encourage a love of reading among children, open their hearts and minds to new worlds, and help them to live their school motto: Turning Our Dreams into Reality. The library also creates a community hub where whole families can engage with library materials to further their learning and literacy potential.
The beneficiaries of the Now Africa Library project include the 200 primary-aged students (Forms 1 to 6) and six teachers of KEC, as well as the over 250 members of NAI, who are able to freely utilize the school building and the school library. Each year, the school adds a new grade onto the school, so this number will only continue to grow in the years to come.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2019
The new school year has just begun and we are excited to announce that a new grade, Form 7, has been added for the those students that graduated from Form 6 last year.
At the end of the last school year, Form (or grade) 4 pupils and Form 6 pupils sat for district examinations. The examinations revealed that KEC emerged overall second in the sub-county of Kanyantorogo and 100% of the pupils qualified to go on to the next classes! The teachers have stated that there has been a great improvement in literacy and performance across all of the classes since the library was started. Now that the school is offering a Form 7 we will be providing the necessary funds to purchase the textbooks required for the new grade. as well as new reading books for the library, and visual aid books for nursery age children. The librarian, Ms. Ritah Niwandinda, will also oversee the books and children.
Hot porridge is also now being served to pupils while at school which has helped them to concentrate while in the classroom. Additionally, ongoing water, sanitation and hygiene projects will greatly enhance the learning environment at Karama Education Center.
Enjoy these new photos of the library showing the addition of doors and the shelves filled with reading materials.