Tag Archives: Africa

From Kerala to Tanzania: a library of one’s own

“Somy Solomon, wife, mother and social activist, is an Indian expatriate in rural Tanzania. It upset her that villagers would sell their farmland to construction companies at knockdown prices, unaware of its value. A lack of education, she says, is trapping local women and children into a life of slum living and domestic servitude. Determined to change this, Solomon launched a social media campaign to set up a library in Kichankani, the village 40 km (25 miles) from Dar es Salaam that supplies many of the employees at the hotel which brought Solomon and her husband to Africa in the first place. Without even stepping out of the village, she has collected thousands of books via a Facebook appeal. Donations have come from India, Dubai and Singapore. “I wanted to remove the cloud of ignorance,” says Solomon, 28, a native of Kerala. As well as supplying books, the library will serve as a learning centre to improve villagers’ Internet proficiency.” (via Reuters)

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E-Reading Program in Kenya Funded by Gates Foundation

“Worldreader worldreader.org, the nonprofit aiming to end illiteracy by providing digital books to children and families throughout the developing world, today announced a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to test what could be a long-term sustainable way to give access to digital books to millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. The pilot will provide eight libraries in Kenya with 250 e-readers fully equipped with protective cases providing their library patrons with instantaneous access to an immediate supply of 50,000 fiction, non-fiction, genre, reference books, storybooks, plus a complete set of Kenyan digital textbooks suitable for patrons of all ages. Worldreader’s previous work to reduce the cost and complexity of using e-readers makes the device a compelling, cost-effective and efficient alternative to distributing paper-based books in sub-Saharan Africa. E-readers, with their long battery life, decreasing price, and ability to download digital books in less than 60 seconds using 3G technology, have proven effective in Worldreader’s programs and are already used by 12,000 children, teachers, and their families in Worldreader’s school and library programs in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania.” (via Digital Book World)

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Web-connected libraries for Africa: the dream of digital knowledge for all

“A decade ago, Brewster Kahle, philanthropist and founder of the Internet Archive, created the first digital bookmobile: a complete printing press in the back of a car. With a power source, satellite internet connection, printer and binder, the vehicle and its descendants subsequently printed thousands of public-domain books where they were needed most, such as in rural areas without internet connection, including schools and refugee camps across Africa.” (via )

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