Visiwani Public Library
In 2016, the “bookfeeding project” built Visiwani Public Library. This was the start of our very own after school teaching project. As from then students came to this library after school to learn, read and play. The bookfeeding project provided books and lesson material, but more importantly an opportunity for the children to improve their skills outside of the school environment. For more information on the bookfeeding projects please visit www.bookfeeding.org .
During the summer of 2017, thanks to a privately organized fundraiser by one of our volunteers, Alexis Sotiropoulos and the help of our volunteers, we were able to build a new public community library in Ilboru!
Together with international volunteers, our children now have the possibility not only to learn how to use a library, but also to fully enjoy the pleasure of good books. The library is open every day in the evening and morning in the weekend.
We are very grateful for this opportunity and would like to send our special thanks to everyone involved. Asante sana!!
Since the beginning of April 2018, we have made some changes in Visiwani Public Library. We went from drawing & painting to studying and learning. Of course there is some room to play left, but learning has been our main focus.
In school, students don’t always get the individual attention that they need, which is why we turned the library into an after school learning opportunity. We purchased school books for mathematics and English for every grade. With the help of volunteers, we have been a successful learning institution. We even created our own customized exercises for English classes.
Children from different grades come to the library after school. We arrange them at different tables and write their daily exercises on the whiteboard. Students turn to the page they’re supposed to work on and start their exercises. Volunteers are around to make corrections, give input, and teach more difficult subjects.
Initially, we were afraid that children would stop coming to the library when we went from play to study, but we couldn’t be more wrong. Our new teaching materials made parents send their children to the library and we are seeing more students now than ever. We even ran out of chairs for the students for the first time ever.
Students had difficulties reading the English schoolbooks, since they are written in English completely. That is why we decided to go back to the basics and started to create our own vocabulary exercises. If we improve their vocabulary, they will start to understand the words. We made an excel databases containing words in Swahili, with their English translation in various difficulty levels (e.g. missing letters, dashes only,…) . Students from all grades get these exercises and we have seen tremendous progress.
Another novelty at our library: Friday is test day. Students learn various subjects throughout the week from Monday to Thursday, and Friday they’ll make a test on the subjects they’ve been working on during that week. Many children attend these test and show to score really well, proving that we have been effective with our methods! After doing their short test, students can play on the playground with our recently fixed basketball hoop. This playground is used by the children after library and during the weekend as well, because relaxing & playing is important too!
So to sum up: we teach, we create lesson material, we have weekly tests and we still have room to play and laugh. We are very proud of our recent success and progress and we want to thank the bookfeeding project for giving us this greatly appreciated opportunity. Asante sana