Newsletter #11, September 2018

FINANCIAL UPDATE 

In the last Newsletter, Books for Lesotho appealed for help to cover the deficit for the financial year in which we shipped 25,776 books in 2 shipments to Lesotho. The “good” extra costs came because we shipped 12,504 more books than last year, while the “bad” costs were due to higher transport charges. 

Throughout the year, donors gave generously to achieve the final result for 2017/18: Donations $13,957; Expenses $14,632 – a pleasing result after several financial scares during the year. 

The Mitcham Exercise Group collected $1,192.15 over the 2017/18 financial year, mostly in small donations over the period. What a stupendous effort. 

The budget for 2018/19 is $15,029 (about 60c per book). We have already received 3 significant donations, including ongoing support from the Rotary Club of Mitcham. Thank you all for your support. 

BOOKS DONATIONS 

Books for Lesotho receives books from many sources; private, charity and commercial second-hand bookshops, council libraries, schools and publishers Wiley Jacaranda and MacMillan. Thank you all – you are “too many” to list. We acknowledge especially the charity book outlets – Rotary Club of Mitcham and Glenside Lions. 

INNOVATIVE COLLECTION EFFORTS 

A CONTRIBUTION FROM THE U.S.A. 

Ryan Casper and Anne Pechanek are on the staff at Ellsworth High School in Wisconsin, USA. They have supported a student undertaking her required school service project after she selected to collect and send books to Lesotho. The books have been shipped directly to Maliba Lodge for schools in their area – schools which are already part of the B4L scheme. Liz and I met Ryan and his wife Melinda when both couples were staying at Maliba Lodge – and here is the result!! 


Congratulations to Maya for a great project and a huge result. 
Below you can see Maya and Ryan with 28 boxes, and left, the loaded pallet.

 WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CHILD TURNS ONE YEAR OLD?? HERE IS AN ANSWER 

Cynthia contacted B4L to check out an idea she had; to invite people attending Jasmine’s first birthday party to donate a book rather than give a gift. We encouraged her and have now received the donated books. Cynthia sent images (I could not bring myself to delete any) along with these words: 

I honestly believe that reading is one of the most important ingredients to becoming all that you can be. I volunteered in Ethiopia at a primary school in 2013 and nothing compares to the smiles on a child’s face when they read/are read their favourite book. Reading not only helps you become a better student, but a better person. Doing our bit to help establish a children’s library in Lesotho, just seemed like a wonderful thing to do for my first born’s first birthday. Margaret Fuller once said “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity. 

Thank you, Cynthia and Jasmine and your donors. The children in Lesotho will also say, “Thank you”. 

AS IF YOU NEED AN EXCUSE TO DRESS UP!! 

“Book Week at Elwood College was very successful this year. We had fun dressing up as book characters but we also wanted to use our Book Week to raise awareness about underprivileged young people in Lesotho. We organised and presented posters, placed donation boxes in the library and asked students and staff to bring any unwanted books from their home. Staff and students participated, donated books in excellent condition. It is with pleasure that I can report we collected 6 boxes with around 240 books. 

“We hope we can set a good example and encourage other schools to organise similar events. Hopefully all the books we’ve collected will be useful and relevant. We are looking forward to cooperating again with “Books for Lesotho” in near future. 

“Monia Ibralic (Librarian, Elwood College)” 

NEWS RECEIVED FROM LESOTHO THIS WEEK: 

“The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) through its Library in the Information and Communications Department donated books to selected 15 primary schools, 24 high schools and 1 community library found in Maseru, Mafeteng, Leribe, Botha-Bothe and Mokhotlong. This annual occasion was hosted at TRC premises on the 13th September 2018. 

“The project goal is to promote habitual readership culture and literacy amongst students through the establishment of mini libraries. This generous book donation project has been carried out successfully through the Books for Lesotho support. The books will be donated to schools for a five year period with the hope that it is sufficient for the schools to collect an adequate supply of books enabling them to attain the envisioned libraries. This year the TRC distributed 103 cartons of reading books to foster a love for reading. 

“Present at the distribution ceremony: Chairperson of the TRC Board, TRC Director and staff members, Principals from schools in TRC project sites, Teachers who will be in charge of libraries, Student representatives, a representative from African Library Project, and Media representatives. 

“The schools showed an understanding of the project vision; they expressed their views and perceptions and appreciated their roles to make it a success. Students were encouraged to develop a culture of reading and were excited to receive the books. 

“The schools also signed contracts making a commitment to ensure the project becomes a success. It was also agreed that a monitoring template will be developed to guide schools on the operation of a library, the impact and their progress. The schools will also undergo training to enhance their librarianship skills.” 

Contributor: Ms Likopo K. J Mokhele, Information Officer, TRC Information and Resource Centre Department 

Thank you Pasadena High School for your on-going support through the use of The Barn

David Linn
Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc. 

Newsletter #10, June 2018

IN AUSTRALIA, 30 JUNE IS TIME FOR TAX RETURNS! 

Recently, the Board of Books for Lesotho learned that a $3,750 shortfall currently exists between donations to date ($9,650) and expected expenses ($13,400) to June 30th 2018.
The good news is the expenses cover 2 shipments totalling 25,780 books. The deliveries have gone to our traditional partner, Transformation Resource Centre (16,660 books) and to our new partners, the Rotary Club of Maloti (9,120 books). These books will assist in creating or expanding libraries in about 41 schools or institutions, opening the window to the joy of reading for hundreds of students. 

For those interested in comparisons: Donations last financial year totalled $12,800 while expenses were $ 12,900. (Expenses included one shipment of 13,300 books to our founding partner, Transformation Resource Centre.)

CAN YOU HELP BOOKS FOR LESOTHO BREAK-EVEN THIS YEAR WITH A DONATION NOW???? 

The easiest way to donate is to use GiveNow – a secure system with immediate issue of a receipt: 

Or contact David (linnd@bigpond.net.au or 0418 877 112) to enquire about other methods of making a donation. 

A huge THANK YOU to individuals and organisations who have given generously this financial year. 

We continue to acknowledge the donation of books from many sources and pro-bono support in various ways. We have 9 active volunteers who work well together each Wednesday morning in the confined space of The Barn at Pasadena High School. 

Seen here are volunteers sorting books at The Barn prior to them being packed into boxes ready for shipping. 

Regularly we have up to 9 volunteers at any one time, all busy. Thank you all. 

LATE NEWS: The Mitcham Exercise Group has in the past 11 months donated over $1,010 compared with $990 for whole 2016/17 year – what a great effort. Thank you. 

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING
APRIL 2018 – We despatched, the now customary, 7 pallets of books, being 105 boxes containing 

16,631 books, to our long-term partners, Transformation Resource Centre in Maseru, Lesotho. 

The total number of books shipped over 11 years, inclusive of the first shipment to the Rotary Club of Maloti which was despatched in late 2017 (see report below) = 130,000. 

MAY 2018 – Three of the Directors of Books for Lesotho Inc., David and Liz Linn and Peter Murchland together with Meg Murchland made a privately sponsored visit to Lesotho and South Africa. While they had some holiday-time scheduled (for relaxing and sight-seeing), there were some very busy days in Lesotho dealing with “The Book Business”. 

Establishing connection with the TRC staff recently appointed to drive the distribution and cultural transformation process. Pictured from left: Tsikoane Peshoane (TRC Director), Meg Murchland, Lerato Phaaroe, Peter Murchland, Liz Linn, Likopo Mokhele and David Linn) 

Meeting with key leaders in Rotary Club of Maloti in Maseru to learn about the new library they have built and exploring their approach to building a potential partnership with the Rotary Club of Mitcham. 

Meeting with Monica Letsoha to learn about the African Library Project, and the initiatives being driven by the Lesotho Librarian Association (ALP) and Botho University in supporting library training in ALP recipient schools and communities. 

MAY 2018 – VISITING SCHOOL IN THE MALIBA AREA – in the Far North of Lesotho

St Felix Primary School 

St Dominic Primary School 

A report just to hand from the Rotary Club of Maloti, Lesotho, on the distribution in early 2018 of 4 pallets of books comprising 60 boxes and containing 9.115 books – mainly for schools in remote districts – is reproduced on attached .pdf file. 

David Linn
Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc. 

Newsletter #9, January 2018

ESTABLISHMENT OF “THE BARN” AT PASADENA HIGH SCHOOL AND THE OFFICAL OPENING 

It seems so long ago, but it was a very memorable event that begs to be reported! On Saturday, 27 May 2017, Hon. Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, officially opened the new base for Books for 

Lesotho at The Barn, Pasadena High School (Adelaide). He and Mrs Lan Le met David Linn, Chairman of the Board, his wife Liz Linn and Wendy House, Principal of Pasadena High School before addressing the invited guests. He then declared The Barn “open”. Books for Lesotho thanks the Governor and all who helped make this a memorable event.

PARTNERSHIPS WITH ROTARY CLUBS OF MITCHAM AND MALOTI 

Books for Lesotho thanks the Rotary Club of Mitcham for the significant financial contribution made towards the setting up of The Barn to create a successful and safe working environment. 

The Club has continued to support us by way of regular donations of books from their bookshop on Good wood Road. The Club also made a large financial contribution to ship 4 pallets of 9.115 books to Lesotho in October 2017 (below, left). These books were received by our additional partners, the Rotary Club of Maloti about 26 January 2018 (club meeting during 2017, below, right) ready for distribution to selected schools. 

SUPPORT FROM THE MITCHAM EXERCISE GROUPS: 

This group raises funds mainly by participants dropping loose change (what’s that, you might ask?) in a container at the end of a session – for the last 6 months this has raised $557.35. THANK YOU! 

SINCE THE OPENING OF “THE BARN”, THE PLACE HAS BEEEN BULGING WITH BOOKS.

Do you recall the story of David and Liz meeting Denis, the Captain of a Boeing 747 enroute to Johannesburg? From that meeting, and through Tania Katsanis in Sydney, 2 pallets of books (3,000 books?) arrived: “From your friends at Connells Point Public School. They were all sorted and easily handled our end. The transport was generously donated by FRACHT Australia. You are all “Good Friends” 

We intended to list our book donors, but the list is overwhelming so we will not begin. Donors include: schools (government and private), municipal/council libraries and new and second-hand bookshops. 

Special recognition is given to: Rotary Club of Mitcham Bookshop, Glenside Lions Club Bookmart and Blackwood Books (whose proprietor, David, died last week – we are deeply saddened). 

The book donation rate is such that we have decided that we can no longer support a pickup service of private donations – it is just too much for the team. We will continue to welcome deliveries to The Barn. 

THANK YOU TO FINANCIAL SUPPORTERS… 

Many people and organisations (including $3,500 grant from Rotary Club of Mitcham towards setup costs) have helped by providing cash donations – they all add up and are essential in making the project viable. 

HOW TO HELP THE CHILDREN IN LESOTHO?

The Barn is open is open every Wednesday from 9.30 am until noon (or by appointment) … here you can: Donate books – appropriate books are always welcome. (Please only donate books that match the project.) 

Volunteer your time – we have had some wonderful new volunteers … we need one or two more. Who – anyone really!! For sorting the question is: Can you tell a children’s books from an adult one, and fiction from non-fiction. For packing: Volunteer Ray has shown us that packing requires skill at fitting lots into a small space! Interested? Please talk to Liz on 0428 364 365 or use linnd@bigpond.net.au 

Fund Raising for the 2018 Shipments (at least 2 shipments are now planned!!): We need additional funds. Here are some ideas: 

  • ·  Marryatville High School – books and $756.10 casual day 
  • ·  Rod sells donated goods on Ebay 
  • ·  Or, donate NOW 

The Board
Books For Lesotho Inc.

Our “own: Niav – Foundation (now “past”) Board member and huge contributor: 

Official Opening of New Premises

On Saturday, 27 May 2017, Hon Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, officially opened the new base for Books for Lesotho at The Barn, Pasadena High School (Adelaide). He and Mrs Lan Le met David Linn (Chairman of the Board), Liz Linn (Member of the Board), and Wendy House (Principal of Pasadena High School) before addressing the invited guests.

In his address Mr Le referred to the 10-year history of the project which has now delivered over 102,000 books to some 60 primary and secondary schools and about 10 organisations working with disadvantaged children in Lesotho. Lesotho is totally surrounded by South Africa, has a population of about 2,000,000 and is smaller than Tasmania.

Me Le pointed out that with 2,500 primary school and 250 secondary schools, many without resources beyond basic government supply, there was a big challenge ahead for Books for Lesotho.

Key people in Lesotho have declared this a “nation building project” whereby children are being given the opportunity to learn to read for pleasure and from that base increase their educational and work opportunities.

Mr and Mrs Le then inspected the facility were books are received from around Australia, sorted and packed for despatch to local partners in Lesotho.

Morning tea was provided by staff and students of the school.

St. Camillus Centre

“I wanted to thank you again for the amazing book donation and taking time out of your trip to Lesotho to stop by St. Camillus! You, you’re wife, and your organization are doing wonderful things and I’m so glad we got to be a part of it.

I have attached some photos of the kids using the books today. I wasn’t with them and our new volunteer let them have the books outside which we usually don’t do but they handled the books well!”

– Katie Walker, Healthy Youth Volunteer, Peace Corps Lesotho

Newsletter #8, April 2017

A lot has happened in the past eight weeks, far more than can be put in a “readable” length newsletter. Here are the highlights.

BOOK DISTRIBUTION, MARCH 2017

Founders, David and Liz, were at Transformation Resource Centre in Maseru for the book distribution ceremony, the 10th annual event. For many schools this marked the end of the five-year cycle for receiving books. You can see the long list of recipients here.

We can all be proud of the effort the staff at TRC have put in to distribute 102,189 books and other items over the life of the project.

There was extensive media coverage of the event especially by PublicEye (two long articles) and LesothoTV (a long segment on the event).

For more images click here.

MEETING OUR LESOTHO PATRON

David and Liz had the pleasure of meeting Books for Lesotho’s Lesotho Patron, His Royal Highness, Prince Dr Seeiso Bereng Seeiso. Prince Seeiso is an outgoing person with a high profile in Lesotho. You can be assured that he is a strong supporter of raising standards of literacy in Lesotho and for the Lesotho people to take advantage of the opportunities projects such as Books for Lesotho provides.

meeting patron

VISITS TO SCHOOLS

David and Liz visited several schools and organisations during their visit. In the north it was two of the schools supported by Maliba Lodge through the Maliba Community Development Trust. Discussions revealed the need for training for teachers on how to establish a school library and how to use the books to complement the official school syllabus, together with the provision of bookshelves to support the libraries. Both topics are the subject of discussions on what is needed and how to raise the necessary funds.

For more images click here.

In Maseru we visited Safate sa Bophelo English Medium School (you will find video images of Principal Manthatiso describing the value of the books to the students and teachers and see the books on shelves in the current library) and St Camillus Centre for orphans and vulnerable children near Mohales Hoek.

There are examples of excellent use of the library books which we hope will encourage other schools to make use of the opportunity the books provide. However, a training course for teachers remains a significant need.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS IN LESOTHO

Discussions were held with TRC by way of review of 10 years of operations and “what of the future?” A meeting with the Rotary Club of Maloti explored the possibility of developing another distribution partnership. We will report the outcomes in due course.

AND IN AUSTRALIA …

We are pleased to announce that we have a new home at The Barn, Pasadena High School. (Pasadena is an inner-southern suburb of Adelaide). Here we receive books, sort and pack them into boxes, and then load them onto pallets ready for the long journey to Lesotho.

The Barn is open to receive books every Wednesday from 9.30 am until noon. Please deliver your books here or visit to learn about the operation and the ways that you can help.

Fund Raising for the 2017 Shipment which might develop into additional “Shipments”!!

Your financial contribution is needed. We invite you to donate now. Donations of $2 or more may be claimed as a tax-deduction.

Sincerely,

The Books for Lesotho Board

Captain Dennis Krieg

DennisTwo of our Board members, Liz and David Linn, recently returned from Lesotho, where the 10th annual book distribution was taking place.

When David told one of the flight attendants on the flight to Johannesburg that the main purpose of the trip was to visit Lesotho, he suggested a discussion with the Captain, Dennis Krieg. David met him while both wandered the plane and had a very long talk about their respective humanitarian projects. Dennis was gobsmacked to discover an organisation that sends books to Lesotho, as a kind friend had left him with over 3,000 children’s books for which he had no home. Now he has one, Books for Lesotho Inc.! Dennis was kind enough to invite David and Liz to travel to the poorest parts of Soweto to meet some of the people he is supporting to change their circumstances, and to meet some of the local people who are working for change, together with visiting some of the related projects. Five hours of sharing with people while walking the “streets” and walkways of Kliptown was inspiring and tiring. It was an amazing chance connection resulting in a rewrite of the day’s activities; new friends and more support for Books for Lesotho. Thanks Dennis.

Moving premises!

Today an incredible team of volunteers helped us to move out of our old premises at OK Psychology and into our new space in The Barn at Pasadena High School. Thanks so much to everyone who helped out and allowed the move to happen so quickly!

out of 129into the barn

Woodcroft Primary School

woodcroft-primary-school

“In this wonderful global world that we live in, we really need to have our eye out for our neighbour and see how we can best help and serve them. Thinking that we’re not using our books in our school community, what a more of a wonderful thing to help others who really need the help and can learn and develop in their communities. It’s a real honour to give these books over where they’ll be well loved and used as we’ve loved and used them.” – Lisa Grieger, librarian