My school performance is changing because of the library. If the books were not there I would be bored and my school performance would decline. 

Dalitso, student, Malawi
Home Education Reading day and night

Reading day and night

Dalitso is a student at a small school in rural Malawi. Here he tells us how access to more books is improving his school performance and his chances in life.

My name is Dalitso. I come from Tembetembe Village in Malawi and I am 13 years old. I live with my mum and dad. My parents rely on farm work and brick making in order to feed our family.  

When I grow up, I want to be a teacher so that I can help my parents and relatives. I want this job because I admire the way teachers do their job here at school. Teachers are able to buy things and build good houses. 

I like reading English books such as Match Joke Book. I like the book because it talks about football, and I like football. I like reading English books because English is difficult for me. I have a friend who I read with. At his home there is a tree where we go to read together. In class, we both perform better.

Dalitso reading after school with his friend

Because of school, my appearance will change. When I finish school, I will be working and earning money and I will be eating well. People who say I am not good looking will find my appearance very attractive. So, because of school I am going to be good looking. 

The Light Library is a place where we borrow books donated by Book Aid International and solar lamps donated by Solar Aid. I borrow books from the library to read and lamps to use for lighting when I am reading, and if the teacher gives us an assessment I always perform better.  

Before the solar lamps I was reading mainly during the day, starting early in the morning before school. At night I came to read here at school but now I read at home. My siblings also use the solar light to lay their mats for sleeping and during meals. During Covid 19 we were able to borrow books and lamps from school, so it helped us to remember what the teacher taught us. 

Borrowing books and lamps has improved my school performance because I have time to read at home ’ 

I would advise people who think books are not important to try reading books from the library and experience the benefits. Books help us with spellings and we are able to understand different things. I want books in all subject areas because all school subjects are important for learning. I would like to ask for more books and solar lights. 

All images © Book Aid International/ SolarAid/ Chris Gagnon. With thanks to SolarAid for their work in partnership with us for the Solar Libraries programme. So far, we’ve set up Solar Libraries at 37 primary schools in Malawi. At each school, we work with SolarAid to provide 400 brand-new books, 40 solar lamps and funding to buy more locally published books. To find out more, click here.

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