“Literacy is an indispensable means for effective social and economic participation, contributing to human development and poverty reduction.” – UNESCO
The Makuleke people thirst for knowledge and ways to empower themselves. Sharing to Learn is proud to provide tools that are essential to self-empowerment – books. With the help of communities of children from schools around the world, we have effectively established two village libraries for the Makuleke Community: The Makuleke Community Library and the Makahlule School Library. We equip the communities with books and educational resources, while also ensuring that the villagers themselves truly take ownership and run the learning centers.
The Makuleke Community Library
Sharing to Learn is passionate about empowering both students and teachers in a way that helps shape and reinforce the education system in the village. We are working with teachers that are both talented and thoughtful, yet lack the physical resources needed for implementing curricula. The lack of educational resources in the community was the impetus for establishing our first learning center, the Makuleke Library, in July 2009. We envisioned it as a place where students could come and immerse themselves in a good book and where teachers would be able to peruse teaching aids, such as puzzles and linking letters, for use in their classes. This library was built with the love and collaboration of the entire community. Day in and day out, villagers of all ages came to volunteer their time and energy. At the end of six weeks, it was the students of the village that christened the library and declared it officially inaugurated! Since that joyous day, children and adults alike have been flocking to the Makuleke Library to enjoy the 3,000+ books within. On Fridays, children enjoy visiting the library and playing with our educational toys. The Makuleke Community Library also contains a Teacher Resource Center, which consists of the following sections: science and non-fiction, math, social sciences, literacy and early childhood education.
The Makahlule School Library
In August 2010, thanks to a generous donation made by Fernanda Schmelz, Sharing to Learn established the region’s first public school library in neighboring Makahlule Village. Children from many schools within the United States hosted books drives and collected over 2,000 books for the school library. The building itself was built by a committee of local villagers that volunteered their time and efforts in hopes that their own children would be able to gain knowledge from the library resources and lift themselves out of poverty.
Our upcoming plans are to build a state-of-the-art Community Center for Makuleke Village, which will be a platform for further community development. The Makuleke Community Center will be equipped with a technology center, an art center, an educational resource center, as well as a spacious library that will allow even more community members to access our resources.
Our upcoming plans are to build a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly, Community Center for Makuleke Village, which will be a platform for further community development. The Makuleke Community Center will be equipped with a technology center, an art center, an educational resource center, a health facility, as well as a spacious library that will allow even more community members to access our resources.
Without infrastructure, we have already effectively established the spirit of a community center, reaching hundreds of children that come to participate in the open-air activities we coordinate. In the past year, we have observed children of all ages gather on the street, waiting to participate in literacy, sports and art projects organized by STL staff. Children come to seek educational support, write the stories of their lives and to participate in cultural exchanges with children in the USA. They also come to watch films during our Community Movie Nights – films projected outdoors, on the wall of a hut with a donated projector. Little by little, the projects that we facilitate help bring the world closer together.
We aspire to create a space that will allow all village children and adults to participate in enriching activities, which will link them to a global world and increase their opportunities in life.