Last month, our Project Manager Judith Henderson travelled to Cameroon to visit the 10 Cameroonian libraries involved in our Open Doors Children’s Corners programme. Together with our partner Education Information Services International (EISERVI), we are working to create child-friendly spaces for children in these libraries. Each Children’s Corner receives 2,500 brand new children’s books, a grant to purchase locally-published titles and a grant for refurbishment.
Refurbishing spaces, filling them with books and training librarians is a lot to do at once so we undertook this work in two phases, focussing on five libraries at a time. Judith visited the ‘phase one’ libraries last year before they were refurbished and was excited to return to see them now they are up and running:
It was amazing, all the libraries look so fresh and inviting. Many of the completed libraries I visited were full of children. Bamenda City Council library had over 100 children reading books, singing songs and joining in activities on the Saturday morning of my visit.
All the children I spoke to loved their new libraries and many were starting to visit on a regular basis, either with their class during the school day, or on their own after school.
Two of the ‘phase two’ libraries were also completed by the time Judith visited last month:
And that leaves just three Children’s Corners to be completed. Their librarians have already attended training and refurbishment is due to start later this month.
The librarians were very excited and can’t wait to put their training into practise.
By August, these Children’s Corners should be fully refurbished and ready to welcome children from the local community. We look forward to sharing more pictures of these Children’s Corners when they are complete.