GOOD NEWS STORIES
During August 2022 while packing the 3rd pallet out of 7 pallets making up the 16th shipment for our long-term partner, Transformation Resource Centre, we passed an important marker:
250,000 books packed for Lesotho
The first shipment (being 3 pallets of books) to our new partners, Rotary Club of Mantsopa (RCoMan) arrived in Maseru on 31 August 2022.
We received the following email in July from our 2nd partner in Lesotho, Rotary Club of Maloti (RCoMal):
As we approach the end of the Rotary year, this month being the last, I wish to once again reiterate our appreciation of so much energy and resources expended and with so much dedication you and your sponsors have shown during the previous and current year. It was a great pleasure working with you. From 1 July 2022, there will be a new Director of Foundation that you may work with during the July 2022/June 2023 period. I will finish off with the Clearing Agent to ensure that books enroute reach their destinations accordingly.
By the way, after receiving all the documents that you sent, I was able to successfully negotiate with Lesotho Revenue Authority for exemption of value added tax. That accomplishment will be shared with Mantsopa Rotary Club and others wishing to import donated books.
I have highlighted above in bold what is the most exciting financial news, certainly for our 3 Lesotho partners. For 16 years the Lesotho Revenue Authority (now known as “Revenue Services Lesotho” – RSL) has levied VAT, calculated at 14% of the TOTAL COST of sending books from Adelaide to Maseru. Initially B4L paid this cost, but of recent years the local partners have contributed by paying the VAT and the import agent’s fee. With the huge increase in shipping charges over the last 2 years, the VAT charge was weighing heavily on our partners’ limited funds. There have been many attempts over the years to have VAT waved, but without success. Due to the diligence of Ntate Bore from RCoMal, all 3 partners should now be able to receive shipments without paying the extra cost of VAT. Good news indeed. Thank you Bore.
Our first two boxes are here!!! (Email dated Wed, 17 Aug, 13:06)
Our courier has a small car and wasn’t able to carry all the boxes, (there are 4 boxes) but the first two are here and we are so excited!! He will be bringing the rest next Tuesday.
Please see here some of the photos we took. Behind me is the empty shelf we had prepared for the books, and then you see it after we put them up with my staff in front. The women’s names are Mantsali and Boitumelo and they have been working at NewToro Books since Aug 1st.
We are getting a new shelf made this week for the books that are coming next week. We have a local carpenter who does a good job at low cost.
We are so grateful and we will keep you posted.
Rets (Retsepile) Sello
You have just read the report from NewToro Books. It is a Lesotho NGO set up to provide a subscription book lending service to all residents of Lesotho with delivery to the door! Funding for freighting of the 4 boxes of books referred to in Rets’ report was from B4L’s normal budget as they were included in the RCoMal shipment. Funds to provide further support to NewToro were raised by B4L through a special appeal. Surely this story supports the reason B4L exists.
And the next email from Rets:
We have a promotion running on our Facebook to get people who interact with us to win the first chance in reading our new books. We have over 100 people signed up. What we plan to do is send out as many of our new books as possible, and gather some initial feedback; how people are liking them, if they would read similar books again, etc. So we will keep you in the loop as we receive that. But personally, at first glance there are some really good books; my staff members are already reading some of them.
I will be sending you more photos of our big board which I am super excited about, next week. We only finished painting it ourselves today.
And on 24 August 2022:
Our last two boxes have arrived!! Yesterday we delivered 25 of the new books to other districts and 12 in Mokhotlong. We have over 180 orders for the new books and our courier is only able to deliver 25 per week, so for the first time at Newtoro we have a long waiting list thanks to B4L.
Our board/photo frame, which B4L sponsored, is also up. Please see some photos attached.
Thank you, David,
And David says, “Thank you to all the B4L supporters who helped this happen through the donations of books, the sorting and packing and finally the financing!”
Check out: https://online.fliphtml5.com/onjex/ojnp/ Turn to: “NewToro promotes a reading culture in Lesotho”
GOOD NEWS ABOUT 2021/22 FINANCIAL YEAR
Thanks to some last-minute $ donations, your donations covered the “normal” expenses for 20221/22, despite the large increase in shipping costs. Thank you to all who helped during the year.
The extra shipment to RCoMan was ultimately financed by the donation from the Lang Foundation; thank you. The image to the right shows the shipment in Maseru on 31 August 2022. What an impressive sight!
THE CHALLENGE FOR 2022/23 FINANCIAL YEAR
The B4L Board has approved a budget of $22,939 compared with $16,429 for last year. The increase is due to increased costs and the inclusion of our new partner, RCoMan. This amount will be a challenge! To date $3,225 has been raised; can you help close the gap?
We pack our books into new cartons/boxes. Images of the cartons appear throughout this newsletter. We save cash through the free supply of the cartons by Preschem Pty Ltd in Melbourne. A year’s supply, 210, arrived at The Barn during August. Thanks Chris and team for this significant on-going in-kind support.
NEED FOR BOOKS
While books continue to arrive at The Barn for sorting and packing, we seek additional supplies – as always, there is a special need for Year 6 to 12, fiction and non-fiction. Please ask your school whether they can assist. Thank you, South Pacific School Aid, for recently coming to our aid with lots of secondary-level books.
A BIG THANK YOU
Thank you to everyone who has contributed in whatever way.
David LinnChairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.