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

 

Newsletter #7, January 2017

READING, “THE NEW CIVIL RIGHT”

We quote George W. Bush: “My friend Phyllis Hunter of Houston, Texas, calls reading the new civil right. Equality in our country will remain a distant dream until every child, of every background, learns so that he or she may strive to rise in this world. No child in America should be segregated by low expectations, imprisoned by illiteracy, abandoned to frustration and the darkness of self-doubt.” (With thanks to Noel Pearson writing in The Australian (newspaper), 10-11 December 2016)

Books for Lesotho Inc. is helping children in the Kingdom of Lesotho join with others in the world who have access to books to read – “A basic human right” (Noel Pearson, as above).

Since forming in December 2015, Books for Lesotho Inc. has achieved great things including shipping 13,272 books to Lesotho which brought the total since the project commenced to 102,189 books!

HOW HAS THIS BEEN ACHIEVED?

With the help of many people and organisations.

The list of schools (now from SA, VIC and NSW) which have contributed books is now too long to keep the list going here (and we are afraid of missing some!). One standout contribution has been through Sandra, who with the help of others from Bundoora Secondary College in Melbourne, delivered 19 boxes of books ready packed to go! Sandra reported, “We have completed boxing up all the books! Big job!” and “We are so glad we were able to send our books to where they will be of some benefit.” They are shown here, loaded and ready to deliver to our friend Chris McEvoy in Melbourne, for freighting to Adelaide.

bundoora

Chris, of Preschem (Australia) Pty Ltd, is a huge supporter of Lesotho and we are pleased to be working with him to develop our presence in Victoria and, most importantly, helping children in northern Lesotho.

The following organisations have made significant contributions this year either cash or in-kind. There are individuals who have made significant financial contributions which we appreciate, but we also know the smaller amounts all add up!

  • South Pacific School Aid Inc. (a major source of books, human packing resources and shipping arrangements)
  • Mitcham Exercise Group
  • Colonel Light Books
  • Blackwood Book Exchange
  • East Avenue Books
  • Westminster School Fair
  • Mitcham Rotary Bookshop
  • Mitcham Library Service
  • Optimistic Kids
  • Mitcham Motor Garage
  • We Are Robots
  • Norcrest Insurance Agencies
  • Rudi Botha, Beach Bush Berg, Durban South Africa
  • Transformation Resource Centre, Maseru, Lesotho (proponents and managers of the project in-country)

logos-compiled

LESOTHO CHILD COUNSELLING UNIT

Books for Lesotho has helped (in association with Transformation Resource Centre) many schools and organisations (working with children) including Lesotho Child Counselling Unit in Mazenod.

Here is an image of founder, Lydia, and “her children” shopping in Maseru Mall.

lesotho-child-councilling-unit

Lydia writes, “We were doing Christmas shopping at Maseru Mall, that’s why we were so excited. Remember to some of us this was the very first experience of going out to choose what we want for Christmas.”

YOUR DONATIONS

During 2016 you have donated $8,720.20 (including $1,007.50 from Mitcham Exercise Group – $882 last year!). What an amazing result.

This income covers our budgeted expenditure for the 2016 shipment and basic operating costs. We shipped 13,272 books on 7 pallets. Total over 10 years = 102,189 books!

We are expecting to expand during 2017. The book target will not be determined until March. Until then, our fundraising target is $7,500.

Donors are able to claim their contributions of $2 or more as a tax-deduction. Using the link to the right, you can donate on-line using a credit/debit card for payment of either a single donation or regular monthly donations.

For other options to donate, please email us for instructions.

Sincerely,

The Books for Lesotho Board

Stop Press

The 10th annual shipment of school library books from Australia has arrived at Transformation Resource Centre in Maseru, Lesotho ready for distribution in March 2017. Total number of books sent is over 102,000.