Kumbo Public Library & Center For Education
The Himalayan Institute Cameroon, in partnership with the Honesdale Rotary, has established the largest library in the northwest region of Cameroon, which contains over 30,000 books. The facility includes reading rooms, collaborative work spaces, a children’s corner, reference books, textbooks, computers, and other multimedia devices. The Library now also include an additional training space and detached library called the Center For Leadership and Vocational Studies.
Throughout Africa, there is a consistent lack of access to information, most vividly demonstrated in the scarcity of books. In Kumbo, despite a relatively high literacy rate, books are extremely difficult to find. Even when available, a used paperback routinely costs $15 to $20 in a country where many earn only $2 per day.
Textbooks for Students
In the national school system, textbooks can cost as much as tuition. Books on average make up 44% of annual school expenses for students in Kumbo. Rural families are routinely forced to choose between sending a child to school without books and not sending them at all. In Kumbo, more than 75% of students in a given class lack the appropriate textbook. They rely on their classmates for school assignments and struggle through examinations.
The Kumbo Public Library makes over 1,000 school textbooks available to students during its operating hours five days a week as well as a quiet and safe study environment for students of all ages. Having access to textbooks through the public library will help make going to school more affordable.
Community education programs will be hosted at the library, including adult literacy classes, children’s afterschool programs, and educational video nights where films such as Planet Earth will be projected onto the 12-foot cinema wall. Two computers are available in the library for educational use and are loaded with Wikipedia For Schools, an offline version of Wikipedia that is the size of a twenty-volume encyclopedia. So even when the computers are not connected to the internet, students can still do research and have access up-to-date information. The library has a reading room, children’s learning area, and a section devoted to textbooks.
Center For Leadership and Vocational Studies
This center allows students to have an occupation-focused school with the resources, teachers and classes needed to jump-start a career. Aside from a large vocational library and digital resources, this center offers: general education classes, management and business sessions, and skill development in leadership, farming, woodworking, electrical, plumbing, automotive.
You Can Help: Donate Books
We are still accepting book donations, especially textbooks, vocation training books and technical books. Also recent copies of periodicals such as Scientific American, Popular mechanic, Popular woodworking, The Economist, National Geographic, and Wired. Typically, we ship new books and magazines to Cameroon when we have enough inventory to fill a 20ft freight container. International shipping can be prohibitively expensive. We usually ask that our book donors pay the cost of postage to Honesdale. If you include an additional $1 per book donated, we can continue improving literacy for the Kumbo Public Library’s 20,000 annual visitors. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.