The Chalula Library Project

Many of you have heard me talk about the Chalula Community Library which my husband and I - and many generous friends - helped to found in central Tanzania. Dollars go so far in Tanzania and we've had the help of lots of kind and generous people from the women's book group in Charlotte, North Carolina to the grade school teachers in New Jersey and Connecticut to head honchos at Barnes & Noble, Random House Children's and Viking Penguin.


Here's the story from the beginning.


In January 2006 while on a Habit for Humanity build, I had the good fortune to visit Chalula Primary School in Mvumi, Tanzania.

A hand-painted sign read Karibu – Welcome in Swahili. Further inside the school grounds another crudely painted sign read – If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

Then we saw the children. Over 900 dressed in their school uniforms in the blazing sun waiting to welcome us with songs, dances, and ceremonial tree plantings. It was an experience that will stay with us the rest of our lives.

Most of the 923 students at Chalula Primary School speak three languages – Kigogo, their local language, Kiswahili (Swahili), and when they’re a little older, English. And they learn with only 18 teachers, no computers, no electricity, and astonishingly enough, few books, because they had no library.

Through the generous support of Professor Kate Parry, Kitengesa Community Library, and Professor Michael Kevane, founder of Friends of African Villages Libraries, we were able to change that.

I urge you to visit their website to learn more about their exciting and important work in Uganda and Burkina Faso.

Get Involved:

Contributions may be sent to:
Chalula Library - Friends of African Village Libraries
PO Box 90533
San Jose, CA 95109


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