Library Nears Completion at Senga Bay


Senga Bay, Malawi… In the past two years the Malawi Project assisted with funding to build the building and Universal Aide obtained nearly 2,000 books for this public library in the area of Senga Bay, Malawi. It is the only library in the entire area where the public can rad or obtain reading materials.

The initial idea for a library was born with the Paratroop Battalion of the Malawi Military, based in Senga Bay, and Samantha Ludick of the Cool Runnings lake resort on Lake Malawi. After learning of the work being done by the military unit with little funding members of the Malawi Project, and Universal Aide offered a helping hand. Ludick did the same, and the library began to take shape.

Universal Aide reached across national borders and teamed up with the Malawi Project in order to send over 2,000 textbooks for use by the library. After a number of construction delays, because of the lack of funds, and because of deployments of the unit to far off peace keeping missions to hot spots in other parts of Africa, the library is now nearing completion. Jarrod and Katie Shafer, from South Carolina, in the U.S. are extending a helping hand in order to finish the library. The following report from Katie reflects the recent progress on the building.

“Let me tell you a little about the library…?It is a building that is on the Parachute Battalion base, but unlike the states anyone is welcome to walk on or off the base with no questions asked It is not even gated. Even though the library is on the base, and is right next to the Para Secondary School it is for anyone in the community. It is the first library in Senga Bay and has been funded by the people in the community. Many of the village and Army people contributed to the purchase of the bricks and cement to build the building and the Malawi Project donated the money for the roof. The 6,000 books inside of it were all donated from Sam’s clients, the Malawi National Library and the Malawi Project. A gentleman from the community has been sent for training in Lilongwe on how to properly run and organize the library. He will be the main librarian, but teachers at the school said that they would also help out on their off days. All of the teachers are so very excited about the space. Every day that we are there they come to see the progress, and look through some of the books. The Minister of Education stopped by this week to see our progress. It is so nice to really see the people interested in the library. When Barry and Jarrod hung the first set of shelves everyone came running to see because they have never had shelves before, and a shelf full of books is even better to see. Plans for the future include a long ten-person table for study sessions and homework small tables for works and reading or games of chess or checkers. They will be running electricity to the library hopefully by the end of the month for lights and for computers.

The library in Senga Bay is yet another example of the way the people of Malawi excel when given the resources and the opportunity. As one of the poorest nations on earth they have little infrastructure and little in the way of resources. The Malawi Project and Universal Aide have worked together for a number of years in order to get the needed resources into their hands so they can move forward with the needed projects on their own.


 

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