Newsletter #20, December 2020

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Board of Books for Lesotho!


1. A NEW BRANCH IN SYDNEY – The B4L Board recently approved a Business Plan and Memorandum  of Understand for consideration by a group based in Sydney with the intention of commencing a branch  in Sydney. I hope by Newsletter No. 21 to be able to report that it is up and running. 

2. THE BARN has been operating at top pace since re-opening on 29 April with all volunteers keeping busy. In the September Newsletter I reported tNhat we needed books because of a slow-up in deliveries due to  COVID-19. South Pacific School Aid came to our immediate aid with a generous supply of mainly upper  secondary novels – thank you SPSA. In due course, deliveries picked up such that sorters have not been  short of work… However, there continues to be shortage at secondary school level of novels and non fiction: can you help? Please ask at your local school, or friends or….. 


Through the good services of Dr Kylie Booker and  Resource Centre staff, he Senior School supported B4L  again during Book Week. B4L volunteers collected a  great store of books from the school – donated by  students during Book Week. We also received a cash  donation – something that is needed to support the  sending of the books to Lesotho. Thank you all.

 4. OTHER BOOK DONORS – Thank you to all who have delivered books to B4L this year, especially those after the COVID-19 closures, including many new donors.

 5. MITCHAM 50-AND-OVER EXERCISE GROUP Members of this group have been long-term supporters of B4L mainly through voluntary donations, usually by placing small amounts into a “tin” at the entrance to their exercise sessions. Things have been  very unsettled since the start of COVID-19 and upon return much uncertainty about a venue. As a result,  the regular pattern of giving has been disrupted and donations are down; in the past six months $373.75  compared with $529.00 in the same period last year. B4L hopes the loyal supporters will seek out the  “tin” and start up again.

6. REMEMBER in the last Newsletter I reported on the Rotary Club of Maloti sharing in the opening of the  new village Library in Mpharane (in the Mohaleshoek district) – an initiative of Ntate (Mr) Mothae  Moletsane. He recently sent me two reports:

Hallo David ….!! It’s been a long time. How is life? Lesotho is good. We had enough rain recently to  plough our fields. I was busy in the fields. Covid 19 has really taugh us a lesson as individuals that we  must work hard to produce more especially on Agriculture. We are still trying to instil the culture of  reading to our local community …they are not using the library very often, but bit by bit, we are getting  there. Community mostly need daily services like photo-copying and printing. However, we are still  looking forward to receiving more books early next year from B4L project. Mothae 

Good morning David! How is life? We are currently busy working  in the fields here in Lesotho, planting summer crops. I just bought  this coloured printer, photocopy and scanning machine for our  community library, as most people come to the library looking for  this kind of services. We are slowly getting there. We receive free  weekly newspapers from three English Newspaper namely Public  Eye, Lesotho Times and The Post Newspaper. The Government  Sesotho newspaper, “Lentsoe La Basotho” also agreed to give us  free copies every Wednesday, though we have not yet started  collecting them. Some local communities are starting to donate books to the library, e.g. last week one  Court Magistrate who is from our area donated 5 good books. We highly appreciate that. We hope the  money collected from photocopies and printing will help to give our volunteer a small monthly stipend. We also give M200 (AUD20) monthly to the owner of the building. We might also get second hand/used  bookshelves from the National University of Lesotho. Good news on harvesting …we currently have good  rains and we also hoping for good harvest next winter ….cheers! Mothae 

Sounds like good news for Lesotho on several fronts. 


This item continues the series where
we hear from a volunteer at The Barn.
Here is Ray Janus who is our expert
book packer, diligent counter (how do
you think we know how many books
we have sent?) and very regular

On entering the barn where B4L is located one encounters a somewhat chaotic collection of shelves, tables and
books seemingly stashed in any number of places. A closer inspection reveals that there is a specific location for
everything to accommodate sorted and unsorted books, packed pallets and specific spots for sorting and
packing books. There are even dedicated spaces for incomplete book series, teaching materials and games but
unfortunately for the volunteers there is no space for a tea-room although outdoors is a pleasant option most
All the books are sorted into appropriate age levels and are either stored or packed as required. The variety and
quality of the books is very impressive with only a small number requiring minor repairs. The most interesting
section for this volunteer is the 1 to 3 school year level that spans the learning to read years. These books come

3in all shapes and sizes (that can be
awkward to pack) and cover many
topics with some having strange
titles such as ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon

Drive the Bus!’. It is interesting to
note how so many of the books
have animal characters. The best
part of the books is the attractive
artwork which is detailed and
colourful. This is a significant
change from when there werelimited children’s books with black and white illustrations (Left Figure) to now (Right Figure).

Straight facts:
Donations since 01 July 2020 = $8,479
Same period last year = $4,350
Budget for 2020/21 = $14,203
Help us “Close-the -gap”… $5,724
B4L started the 2020/21 financial year confident that funds will be raised to cover the shipping costs of another
11 pallets of books for our current two in-country partners, Rotary Club of Maloti and Transformation Resource
Centre. We look forward to your continued support. Thank you…

Help us “Close-the -gap”… $5,724 

B4L started the 2020/21 financial year confident that funds will be raised to cover the shipping costs of another  11 pallets of books for our current two in-country partners, Rotary Club of Maloti and Transformation Resource  Centre. We look forward to your continued support. Thank you…

David Linn
Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.