Dzunga, our very first partner community, taught us many valuable lessons.
First, be prepared to go with the flow as most of things you planned will go south. Second, do not try to pull the container off the lorry by tying it to a tree and always use the strongest chains you can find (see our video on YouTube). Third, select community partners and library leaders by signing an official agreement. Fourth, expect the unexpected as each library and playground will be busier than you’ve anticipated.
Dzunga’s library was hard work to set up but was an immediate success. Over 400 people enrolled the very first day and 1,000 people signed up in the first month. The community developed many after-school activities and classes including reading lessons and arts and crafts classes. Our librarians, who had been unemployed for a prolonged period of time, set up their own successful businesses.
Twenty-one nearby schools were given textbooks and storybooks. A local police station, hospitals and charitable organisations such as orphanages were also given books and toys.
Our recent survey showed incredible results from the work done in Dzunga (see Impact on Education).
The playground, which was established prior to the library, is also a huge hit and every day 100s of children come to play. At the installation day over 100 volunteers turned up to help and the playground was built in less than four hours. Swings, slide and climbing bars withstood the test but the see-saw never stood a chance; there were just too many children having fun.
Dzunga has celebrated two years with a library and it remains our flagship community.