Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Library Project Fundraising!!!

Hello friends!  It is the rainy season in Lesotho and that means that many afternoons I walk out of my house to amazing rainbows! 

In more important news, our project to build a library at Qholaqhoe High School has been approved!!!  

Read on to find out a bit more about the project and how you can contribute!  I can’t return to the US until this project is funded and finished so if you want to see me again please help!  Haha!  But truthfully this is a project that my counterparts and I have dedicated ourselves to and your support means everything to us!  I truly believe this is a great grassroots development project.

Qholaqhoe High School, the school I teach at, is located in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the far northern region of the country.  The school is rural and the nearest shopping town is an hour and a half away via taxi.  The school serves 500 students who are completing grades 8 through 12.  School is taught in English though the native language is Sesotho.  The access to textbooks, classroom space, and learning resources is limited at our school and students struggle to pass standardized exams given at grades 10 and 12.  However, there are many brilliant students who would amaze you by their abilities and dedication to learning even when opportunities are few. 

 Winny and Relebohile, the brightest student at my school (Winny, right) and a brilliant student from my friend Lauren's school Lepakola HS (Relebohile, left) after Friday's debate competition talking together in English about school as they walk down the hill.  These are the students that give me pride to work hard for and the ones the library will most benefit.  They need people to believe in them and with a chance they will amaze you!

One of the opportunities students at Qholaqhoe lack is access to information and a place to engage with materials.  The school currently has over 1000 library books but does not have the space to properly house them.  With my counterparts we have developed a project to first, implement a plan to improve the library operation by organizing the books and training the school cleaning lady to serve as a librarian, and second, construct a library building through a Peace Corps Partnership Program application.   A library will make a huge difference to students at Qholaqhoe by giving them access to materials and a place to read and study.  The current library space will be used as a staff room for teachers to plan lessons.  The details of this project have been extensively planned and I am sure that when this project is completed its success will be greatly felt and appreciated by the Qholaqhoe community.

Myself with two of my students in front of the staff room.

In order to complete this project we have to secure funding in the amount of $5800 to assist the school with the $3500 they have raised through community support.  This is where you come in!  The project is posted on the Peace Corps website at http://donate.peacecorps.gov and donations are easiest via the website. 
To find the project search: Koryto or project number: 13-632-002. You may have already received an email from Peace Corps Headquarters on this!  Donations are tax deductible and also can be sent in by check and I can provide that info. 

Or try the following link directly:

I want to involve supporters of this project in more ways than just making a financial donation.  My goal is to keep you informed on the project developments by electronic updates including pictures, descriptions, impressions of my students and teachers, and a thank you letter.  Please email me at korytoke@gmail.com  so I can keep you involved in this if you would like!

If you would like to know a bit more about the details of the project a shortened project proposal is continued below on this post.

Thank you!


Project Goals:
  1. To improve the learning environment at Qholaqhoe High School through the construction of a library building, engaging students in reading and research.
  2. To create space that will allow teachers adequate staff room area and students a location to study outside of the classroom.
 Problem Statement:
The current library space is inadequately serving Qholaqhoe High School because of a shortage of space, furniture, and reading material.  Students at Qholaqhoe High School have very limited exposure to outside information from the internet, television, newspapers, or books. This lack of exposure has a negative impact on student’s performance on examinations and their ability to dream and set future goals.  The current library is used for many purposes including meeting room, staff room, book storage, and library which cause it to function poorly in all regards.  Currently there is no space dedicated to student study and teachers are short space to plan lessons. 

Project Description:
The completion of the library building at Qholaqhoe High School will increase the capacity of both students and teachers.  The building will serve as a place for students to gain competency in English, explore information, and study for examinations.  Access to reference materials and increased staff room space will allow teachers to better present material to students.  The building will improve the learning atmosphere of Qholaqhoe High School. 

Parallel to the construction of the library building will be the training of staff and students on the library use.  Beginning immediately a librarian is being trained, books logically reorganized, and procedures established to ensure that the library will sustain as an effective part of the school environment upon completion.

The building will be 9 m x 6 m and located adjacent to the current administration building to ensure that it is closely monitored.  The design includes four study desks with 8 benches and a librarian’s desk in the center of the room.  The interior walls will house the books on low three row shelves with windows above.  Design considerations were based on needs seen in the current space and available materials at the school. 

Project Budget:
Blocks and Sand
Concrete blocks and sands with transport
Cement and block reinforcements
Door, frame, and burglar bar
Windows, frames, and sealant
Iron sheets, timber, and nails
Tiles and tile glue
Undercoat and cover paint
Tables and benches
Building construction
Total Cost

Explanation of Budget:

These costs were found through acquiring quotations from several local hardware stores and suppliers.  The school has fundraised to supply $3501.77, 38% of the project cost, and the $5784.79 will be raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I visited your blog.
    Congratulations for your work!! An interesting and nice blog!!
    Good luck with your blog!
    Greetings from Algarve, Portugal
    Paulo Gonçalves

    I invite you to visit my blog