African Library Project

Uganda webpage5

enjuba/FFET Uganda

Aaron KirundaWho we are

“Enjuba” is a Luganda word that means “the sun”. We chose it as the name of our children’s education nonprofit as a symbol of hope for the new generation. enjuba works to lift Ugandans out of poverty by improving literacy and developing key life skills such as collaboration, communication and critical thinking among children. enjuba uses teacher trainings, spelling bees, Afro-centric children’s book publishing and library development to achieve its mission.

Firm Foundation Education Trust (FFET) is a grassroots (CBO) Community Based Organization based in the economically challenged West Nile Region of Uganda. FFET focuses on promoting literacy by helping to establish school libraries and organizing reading activities. We work closely with our schools’ head teachers and the district education office.

What daily life is like here

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With a population of nearly 40 million people in a country nearly half the size of California and 56 different tribes, daily life varies a lot. However, since over 80% of Ugandans live in rural areas as subsistence farmers, we’ll focus on life in the countryside where most of our libraries will be established.

Children arise about 6 am. They complete chores like sweeping, fetching water and washing up before dressing in their school uniform to walk to school. School begins at 7:30 with an assembly and singing and cleaning of the school compound. Uganda webpage2Students join their teacher and 70-150 students in their class at 8:00 to study math, science, English and social studies taught from the blackboard. Most of the schools don’t provide breakfast or lunch for the children, especially since the introduction of Universal Primary Education which was promoted as free education. So most of the break and lunch times are used by pupils to play soccer and jump rope or several other games, or find some fruits to eat in villages neighboring their school. Uganda webpage1Classes end at 3:40 pm, and once the students have swept and mopped the school floors, and engaged in some extra-curricular activities, which will depend on the school term, they walk home. At home, students change into play clothes and clean their school uniform for the next day. Kids help their mothers prepare the evening meal usually cooked outside over three stones and firewood. Since the equator runs through Uganda, days and nights are about the same length of time year round and students go to bed early, especially in areas with no electricity.

Why we work with the African Library Project

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Over half of all Ugandans are under the age of 15! According to an 11/16 Uwezo report, 7 out of 10 children in primary school cannot read. Only 3 out of 10 children complete primary school. A lack of reading materials is one of the major roadblocks to literacy. This situation is a threat to our national security and development.

Most of our schools have only a few books in poor condition. Overcrowded classrooms place a huge burden on teachers who have only a chalkboard as a teaching tool. Partnering with the African Library Project offers our students the opportunities that come with better education.

How we work with the African Library Project

We spread the word about the opportunity to establish a library among schools, distribute applications and vet them to make sure the applicants have met the criteria. IMG 1772Each library applicant must provide the space, furniture, a library committee and teacher willing to be trained as a librarian to be accepted. We send the approved applications to the African Library Project who match them with a book drive organizer. Once the books arrive in Kampala, Uganda, we will clear the container, warehouse the books and arrange for distribution. Then we will train the teacher librarians how to manage their new library using ALP’s book Setting Up and Running a Small Library in Africa. Using WhatsApp, we’ll develop a library network to help each other with the challenges that come with new libraries and share our successes.

What we have accomplished with ALP

We are just at the beginning of our work together. We are distributing our first set of applications in 2019.

Our hopes and wishes

Our vision is to create responsible citizens, authentic leaders and credible change agents DSC 1922driven by literacy. Our core values are character, responsibility, excellence, empathy and discipline. We want to create hundreds, if not thousands, of libraries in partnership with the African Library Project!

How you can help

Do a book drive for Uganda! Please.

Our sincere thanks to the people making it happen

We’d like to extend our gratitude to all those doing book drives, to the ALP Board and to all those in Uganda at the local and national levels working to make this dream a reality.

To learn more about the African Library Project,

Explore the website www.africanlibraryproject.org, join the African Library Project mailing list and become an ALP Facebook Fan.

 

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