Councillor Lipikwe sources over 500 books to Jacaranda Foundation for library programme

After presiding over the handing over of a renovated library which he facilitated for Kanjedza Primary School, newly-elected Limbe Central Councillor Gerald Paul Lipikwe announced that he had sourced over 500 literary and educational text books which he will donate to Chigumula-based Jacaranda Foundation library programme.

Lipikwe, Councillor for Limbe Central
Beni dance by the learners
16-year-old Shauya Ighani together with Jacaranda Singers perform a song
Jacaranda founder and Deschamps together with the councillors

He made the pledge on Friday when Hong Kong-based family, Adib and Nazili Ighani was present at hand over ceremony of the library that is also been stocked with over 1,000 books.

Jacaranda Foundation, which operates free primary and secondary schools for over 400 orphaned learners in Newlands, Chigumula has an outreach programme to provide library facilities for interested schools across Blantyre City and outside of it and so far it has reached out to 15 schools.

Last month, Jacaranda Foundation invited Lipikwe for the handover of a library it also renovated and stocked with over 1,000 books at Limbe Primary School, and Lipikwe took the opportunity to ask Jacaranda’s executive director Luc Deschamps to also consider Kanjedza.

“I am a proud man today that my request was granted and here we are to witness the handover ceremony,” Lipikwe said. “I have managed to source over 500 books which I will donate to Jacaranda for their library outreach programme to benefit other schools that will be considered in the same programme.

Lipikwe brought with him fellow Blantyre City Councillors — Jonas Tembo (South Lunzu), Gertrude Chirambo (Namalimwe) and Balaba Funny Kanojerera (Nyambadwe) so that they can also benefit from the programme.

Donor Nazili Ighani was overwhelmed with emotion when they were warmly welcome by the school’s learners who sang and chanted songs of thanks you as she cut the ribbon to the library.

Nazili, who is a Hongkong primary school teacher, and her husband Adib and children, Shauya and Arming and the rest of the entourage then interacted with the learners who were inside the library.

She told the kids that she became interested to assist Jacaranda’s outreach programme when she visited the institution some three years ago.

“The least we could do to assist this project of a reading culture was to assist in a small way in the renovation and stocking of books for you,” she told the learners. “I am so impressed and overwhelmed with the whole transformation.

“Education is the key to everything. When a child is knowledgeable, they can positively contribute to national development. No one can take away knowledge you can gain through education,” she said.

After the presentation, the school —  in conjunction with Jacaranda students — entertained the guests to traditional dances and poetry recitals.

It was during speeches that Lipikwe made his pledge of the 500 books as he thanked the Ighani family and Jacaranda, founded by Marie da Silva.

“I am really indebted to Luc Dechamps for identifying the Ighani family donors of this project,” he said. “What a wonderful God we have because in my campaign I pledged to have libraries in all primary schools and within a month since I took office, we have two libraries in Ward.

“As my contribution, I pledge to donate the 500 books which I am sourcing for this initiative and Jacaranda will carry out the distribution of these books in their next projects,” he said.

According to Da Silva, all it requires is for a school committee, through their councillor, to identify a room and they come over to renovate it into a proper library setting complete with new books chairs, tables and shelves.

“Libraries as a special place for children to provide educative materials as well for entertainment during their leisure,” she said. “There are several more libraries lined up Lilongwe and Phalombe in our outreach programme and we ask other partners to assist in ICT to develop and bring added value to education.

“When we see the community coming together to develop their education system, we come in to assist. When people come together things do happen.”

The school’s headteacher Nelly Mkumba, while applauding all who took part in the project, also appraised the guests that the school — built 1960 — faces a lot of challenges such as roof leaks during rains that disrupt classes.

“We also have few school blocks and few toilets against a large enrollment rate. If others out there might want to assist, they can do so first in the areas I’ve mentioned.”

During the entertainment part of the ceremony, there was a special performance by 16-year-old Shauya Ighani together with Jacaranda Singers in a song they composed in just 30 minutes the previous night.

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