In the spring of 2013, we reported that thanks to a very generous donation from a supporter, a library had been built on the Kitongo campus for the Joseph and Mary School students. A handful of volunteers spent the summer decorating the walls of the large room with colorful reminders of how reading can inspire the imagination, however the handmade shelves in the library only contained a handful of books.
To fill the library, JBFC launched its Book by Book campaign, which aimed to fill the library with thousands of books. The goal of the library was to serve not only the JBFC residential girls, students, and staff, but also the local community.
Literacy is a major issue in Tanzania, where nearly one in four people are illiterate. With the help of our volunteers from Sarah Lawrence College earlier this year, JBFC has worked hard to fight this problem head-on by implementing a new literacy program that targets JBFC students and their parents.
Each class in both the Joseph and Mary Primary and Secondary Schools visits the library once or twice a week for more than an hour. Reading has become a favorite pastime for many of our residential girls and students!
But it's not just our Tanzanian community who get to enjoy the library. Through our Reading Buddies program, any visitor to our campus gets to spend a little time in the afternoon reading a book and helping our residential girls develop a better understanding and command of English. The library has served as another stepping stone in helping build friendships between our girls and guests.
If you are interested in donating dollars or books to our Book by Book campaign, please be sure to check out our guidelines by clicking here.
Thank you to everyone who has so generously donated books to our library, and to everyone who is helping us break down barriers to literacy, one book at a time.