Tag Archives: Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust

Goat project team

Books and goats changing lives

Many people living in the rural villages of Zimbabwe’s Gwanda region are subsistence farmers. Villagers often have little money to purchase even simple commodities for their families or clothing for their children let alone pay school fees.

Our partner Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust is working with villagers to change that by using books you help to send to support communities’ income generation projects.

When Trena and five others joined a project in Sezhubane village and started reading books together, many things in their lives began to change. Here Trena tells us more.


Goat project group
Four of the five members of the group

Our group was a discussion group to start with. We are women, some of us widows. We are struggling together and we appreciate each other’s challenges. We all have orphans – the whole village have orphans in each home.

By reading books we came to appreciate that we could start a project. We decided to do this to help ourselves and the orphans that we keep.

Here people practise farming and people like keeping animals, particularly goats. The vegetation supports the keeping of goats. But culturally in Zimbabwe amongst village people, women do not keep animals.


Goats in pen
Group members meet on a daily basis to tend to the goats

But by reading books on rights, we discovered it is not wrong to go up against some of the traditions. So we started a goat project. And this is an example for other women; we can own animals without destroying our villages or our homes.

Each one of us contributed a goat to the group so we had five to start with. And then we asked for a loan to buy extra goats. It’s been nine years now and these goats over the years have reproduced. Now we have 27.


Goat project members
The goats provide the group with security in hard times as well as milk

Now we have something to fall back on when we have got problems, because we can even sell the goats to solve some monetary needs for ourselves. We also get milk from the goats for our tea and porridge.


Agricultural book
The group use books to help them develop their project. They hope to become more commercial.

But we are looking forward to having more goats so that we are not only selling one, but could go out and sell 20. Which means we bring in more money. We are looking at having a number of goats  – that will be beneficial to us as a form of income generation. So we are really thinking of getting into business through keeping goats.

As well as books about goat-keeping and business, we also read and discuss books on different themes.

Books on human rights, health, HIV and AIDS, gender issues, how to get birth certificates.


When the group read a book about environmental health, they decided to each build a latrine by their homes.

After reading books on environmental health we agreed as a group that each one of us must build a bathroom with a toilet next door.

We didn’t have bathrooms before. Now, outside each of our homes is a toilet. This is a big change in terms of health here.

We feel with this project we are going to be different to other women. The women who are not part of the project want to start projects. We feel we have the potential to change our lifestyles. We hope to set a precedence for how to care for orphans even if we are not formally employed.


ILD celebrations in Cameroon

Celebrating literacy across Africa!

Last month, our partners across 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa celebrated International Literacy Day and the power of reading with some of the communities they work in.

The scene is set for celebrations in Tanzania


From Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s bustling capital city to remote, rural Zimbabwe, hundreds of school children took part in reading and spelling competitions, performed marches, dances, songs and dramas, gave presentations and speeches and engaged in debates.


Reading competition reader
A pupil in Kenya takes part in a reading competition


Local dignitaries and government officials attended as did local and national media, teachers, parents, publishers and writers as well as members of the wider communities. And all with the aim of promoting reading and raising the profile of libraries and the services they offer.


Giving out awards
A young reader is awarded a prize at EISERVI’s celebrations in Cameroon

As part of the celebrations, each partner gave out 600 brand new, inspiring books that you have helped to send as prizes for participants and for schools to add to their library collections. Our hope is that these books will enable children to continue to enjoy reading long after the excitement of the celebrations have faded.

Occasions like International Literacy Day provide the perfect opportunity to promote reading and literacy. Find out more about some of our partners’ celebrations below.



Celebrations took place at EISERVI’s library in Cameroon’s capital city Yaoundé.

Cameroon students
Secondary school students show off their prizes and book donation for their school library

Once the day’s celebrations were over, children who had never visited EISERVI’s library before were keen to return as soon as they could:

Aunty, I like your library and I would like to come here and read after school. Can I?

– Wenyi Favour, Government Primary School.



In Zimbabwe, Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust took their celebrations to Selonga Primary School’s community library in rural Gwanda where pupils from neighbouring schools as well as their parents and the wider community joined them.

In addition to competitions, performances and presentations by the children, older people from the community read short stories and spoke of how literacy has enabled them to better their own lives and the lives of their families.

Being literate is important for everyone, young and old. In this fast-changing world, being illiterate will make you lose out on a lot of things – even being in touch with the larger outside world.

– Mrs Mathe.



Kenya National Library Service’s celebrations focused on Kwale branch library. Kwale County has the second highest rate of poverty in the country and a large percentage of school drop outs. This event was a great opportunity to promote reading and the library as a means of learning outside of formal education.

Reading competition
School children perform at Kenya National Library Service’s celebrations in Kwale


It changed the way I thought about reading. I thought reading was only for academic purposes …

– Benjamin Wabwire, teacher.



Our partner CODE Ethiopia celebrated International Literacy Day at Ejere Community Library in rural Ejere town.

Becoming a reader is a must.

– Tsige, teacher.

Apart from serving the local community, I myself have got a lot that changed my life from this library.

– Lemma Kefeni, retired teacher and former librarian.


Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Library Board marked International Literacy Day with an event at their headquarters library in Freetown.

There was huge excitement among the children that attended – for many of them it was the first time they had participated in an event like this.



Tanzania Library Services Board’s celebrations took place at their Central Library in Dar es Salaam.




The event included speeches from a variety of people highlighting the importance of reading:

Look how amazing it is that reading brings people together.

– Ms Latifah Miraji, Soma Book Café, local NGO.

Do not use your smart phones to serve only films or music, rather use it to download books of your desire. Read them, understand them and let them bridge your knowledge gap.

– Aneth Amos, pupil, Jangwani Girls Secondary School.


This year, the Library and Information Association of Eritrea held their celebrations at six public and community libraries across the Maekel, South and Anseba regions. This included two prisons where inmates gave speeches about the importance of reading in their lives. One 92-year-old female prisoner spoke about how she had completed first grade for the first time and is now preparing to enter second grade:

I will keep reading until my eyes no longer allow me to do so.



Grace Rwanda celebrated International Literacy Day at Ineza Children’s Corner in the Shyorongi Sector of the Northern Province.


Rwandan dancers
Celebrations included dance performances


The library has already seen an increase in visits from children and schools as a result of the event.


Football match
Celebrations even included a youth football match!

There are books we needed but couldn’t find them and we had limited books but now these books are here, we will read them much!

– Byaruhanga Moses, a pupil at GS Rwisirabo


International Literacy Day celebrations were also held by our partners in Liberia, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar.