Monday, August 22, 2011

It Takes a Village Library to Educate a Girl Child

A recent article on A Professor Raise a Library in His Native Town in Zambia has reminded me of a professorial couple's initiative in Tanzania. As far back s 2009 they have been working on building a girls education centre that "will be used as a community library for everybody while focusing on girls". Let's hear from them as we follow their 'Long Walk to Readership':

"As a young girl, my parents did not like to send me to school, but my father decided to teach me reading the Bible. Through this, I was able to read at the age of five. One day I saw a magazine, which was promoting education as part of United Nations [UN] efforts to implement Universal Primary Education [UPE]. By then, I just read it and understood that a girl can study. Then I went back home I told my parents to send me to school. They refused at first and agreed later, and then I started school because there was such a magazine donated by UN efforts. In the magazine, there was Nyerere, our president giving a speech on the UPE policy. Reading gave me good news, I started self-development, and since then things had never been the same. This is a long story of mine, but currently I am doing my PhD and a University lecturer. If there were no such books, I would not be writing to you." - Aurelia N. Kamuzora, 14 October 2009

"Anybody who like to know the impact of Nyerere policies of Ujamaa and equality, I am a good case study and I like to use it to impact parents and the young girls not only in Karagwe, but also in any grassroots communities of Tanzania. The message is about the pro-poor families to invest in education, morally and social support of their children. Building schools everywhere is nothing if there is no participatory approach like what Nyerere did. I like to support the government efforts in education provision. Without Nyerere's policies of government interventions, people like us would have been somewhere else." - Aurelia N. Kamuzora, 15 October 2009

“For some of us who have been fortunate enough we have an obligation to try to give back to our communities. Aurelia (with very scant help from me) is about to complete construction of a similar, but definitely smaller, library building project in one of our villages in Karagwe. It is our hope that once the construction is done we will conduct a "book"raising event to get books, particularly the local ones” – Prof. Faustin R. Kamuzora, 20 August 2011

"We started with construction and the second step will be mobilizing resources to fill it with relevant books. We are also promoting green movement where people in the village plant trees to restore Mother Nature. Also, Green Movement gives the villagers an opportunity to benefit from carbon credit of the polluters. We are doing this through Green for Education and Poverty Alleviation Trust (GEPAT). GEPAT is a purely voluntary organization that focuses on future generation and clean air. We invite anybody to contribute to our efforts, not only in Karagwe but somewhere else in Tanzania. Our activities are available at: Thanks a lot for the story from Zambia. Our initiative in our home village is still ongoing. The "Girls Education Center" is under construction. We are currently finishing. We are working together with different donors, but our own effort is almost 50% contribution. We hope it will give an impact to some young children, especially girls. It is located in Kituntu Village, Kituntu Ward, Karagwe District and Kagera region. At the beginning it was a nightmare, but now it seems that we have been able make a change. Thank you for encouragement through the Zambian Case" - Dr. Aurelia N. Kamuzora, 21 August 2011

"These are the photos sent by one of the volunteer working with us. These volunteers are among the young children we have been supporting (sponsoring) to acquire education. He is a boy waiting for the selection to join the university. The girls are still not doing well when it comes to examination performance. We believe that with the Girls' Education Centre (GEC) which will be full of books while we will continue with role modeling, many girls with similar background like us will be motivated to perform well in their respective schools. Ultimately, they will pursue it further to universities and beyond - Dr. Aurelia N. Kamuzora, 22 August 2011

"Anybody who donates a book does more than a person who donates money in Africa" – Aurelia Ngwira Kamuzora


kweka August 24, 2011 at 11:13 AM  

I wish to congratulate Dr Aurelia Kamuzora for her initiative.In fact most `intellectuals` these days are obsessed with consultancies and extravagant life instead of teaching and giving back to the community.Basically,these days, the learned is a problem to his/her community.I think she is a role model.

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