The Community Library at Sam’s Village in Lilongwe rural North-West, was officially opened to the public on 1st February 2017. This means that the communities around the 400 km2 of Traditional Authorities M’bang’ombe, Mtema, Chitukula, Kayembe (Dowa district) and Mkukula (Dowa district) can fully access diverse books for their knowledge and personal development. More information about the opening event here

Library opening
Library opening

The Library at Sam’s Village is open to the public – all day Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings. The Library is in Chigonti village, opposite M’teza School. It is near M’bang’ombe trading centre, on the road from Kamuzu International Airport.

The Library is a visible sign of our commitment to education and training as a means of encouraging sustainable development of communities in Malawi. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to construct this building and to fill it with books!

The Library is now well used

Our librarian Ireen is available to assist library users. The Library has electricity, powered by a solar panel. We have hopes and plans to have computers and internet access at the library in the future.

Who uses the Library?

The Library is used by students, school children and adults from the surrounding area.

David Lackson

David Lackson, one of the Scholarship Programme beneficiaries, has been a regular library user 2 or 3 days a week since he graduated from Secondary School. When interviewed about the books he has been reading, this is what he had to say:

‘I have been reading lots of English and French books in the library. Among them, English A1 book for IB diploma programme by Elizabeth Druce and Hannah Tyson has been interesting to read. I have read this book for good numbers of days. I really like it because most of its content is what I would learn in my English course at university. It has important literature devices such as poetry, drama, commentaries and essays. It is a very good book to read and understand what it discusses. This library is benefitting me, it is like a granary of knowledge of what most people like me are desperate for.’’

David has been accepted into University of Malawi at Chancellor College (one of the constituent colleges) from January 2016 to study a four year course for a Bachelor of Education (languages).

Andrew Kaunda

Andrew Kaunda is one of the regular library users. He stays with his brother who is clinical officer at M’bang’ombe clinic.

Andrew studied Journalism level two certificate at Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) in 2013. Here is what he said about the library:

‘I often use the library because I would like to improve my English as a language in all the aspects such as grammar and vocabulary, which will help my speaking skills and also both writing and reading skills. I think these are essential skills for someone like me who wants to become a journalist. I think we are lucky people here having a library like this because apart from reading different books I also make use of periodicals such as newspaper to be updated in current affairs.’

When we spoke to him Andrew was reading Contemporary English Grammar by Jayanthi Dakshina Murthy which he said is one of the books he read frequently.

Reading Group with Jennie Hawley

Jennie Hawley, a volunteer from London UK, has been doing tremendous work forming reading groups with primary school learners, as shown in the pictures, as well as secondary school students. In the picture above they are reading the following children books: Hairy Maclary’s Showbusiness by Iynley Dodd, Why is the Sky Blue by Sally Grindley and Susan Varley and Diego’s Safari Rescue. The picture below shows Jennie helping children how to find words in a childrens dictionary.

Looking up words in a dictionary

After school reading group activities are a step towards educating both students and communities on how to use the library and improving research skills, especially for learners. Above all, encouraging the reading culture because most students in Malawi read academic books mostly based on the curriculum which will be examined.

Violet and Prisca Chaza

Violet Chaza (left) and her sister Prisca (right) are both secondary school students. Violet is in form 3 at Bzyanzi Secondary and Prisca is in form 2 at Chitukula Community Day Secondary School. Violet and Prisca are studying Biology and Life Skills respectively in the photo, for their secondary school curriculums.

Loness Eliya, photo taken at her college campus in Blantyre

Loness Eliya, another scholarship beneficiary, is now doing her 2rd year at Kamuzu College of Nursing, studying Nursing and Midwifery under the umbrella of University of Malawi. During university holidays, Loness assists in teaching children at Community Based Child Care Centre (CBCC) within Sam’s Village premises, where M’teza library is. After teaching the children she goes to assist librarians where needed and has her own time to study.

This is what she had to say about the library and the new stock, via text message:

‘The library is very useful to me especially when I am on holiday. I have found lots of important books which are on my course – titles such as Mental Health, Psychiatric Nursing, Surgical Nursing, Ethics and Law. Most of these books came in the new donation and they are really excellent ones. I think the library has great books which are very useful to our community.’

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