During January, the pallet (left) loaded with
empty cartons arrived at The Barn. The
consignment came from Melbourne –
generously donated by Chris McEvoy of
Preschem Pty Ltd. Chris is a long-term
supporter of Books for Lesotho and of the
people of Lesotho. What happens to such a
carton? Each one is carefully packed with
books using every available space; then it is
sealed and loaded onto a pallet (right) ready
for despatch.


To the left: it’s 8 pallets of books sitting in line at The  

Barn ready for pickup during February. They all left  

The Barn (right) on 03 February 2021 destined for the  

Transformation Resource Centre in Lesotho. This is  

the 14th shipment to TRC and brings the total number  

of shipments to 17 since 2007.  

The usual number of pallets for TRC is 7. What was the 8th pallet about? – read below…


This is the mysterious 8th pallet, with a story attached:  Lesotho is an openly religious nation. From my experience, almost every  meeting opens with prayer, and often moves effortlessly into song. I was not  surprised when on my last visit (now over 12 months ago), I was approached as  to whether B4L could supply suitable books to a theological college. Such a  shipment does not match the B4L goal of developing libraries in Schools, but it  did match helping people in Lesotho with reading resources, while adding to an  existing shipment is of no burden to B4L. The Board endorsed this special project. The image shows one of the  B4L keen volunteer sorters and packers, Brian Webber. Brian responded to the request to support the library of  the Morija Theological Seminary. It belongs to the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA),  the main protestant denomination in Lesotho. Therefore, as a separate initiative, Brian sourced books from 3  Adelaide-based theological colleges and some private sources as well as securing donations to cover the costs of  shipping one full pallet of books, consolidated with the load to TRC. Brian acknowledges the donors, especially  Malvern (SA) Uniting Church for their support of this special project. Here is a link for further information. Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa – Christian Council of Lesotho ( 

Latest news: More theology books have been donated, sufficient to make up another full pallet – now packed  and wrapped ready to ship. Brian is now seeking funding to get the books to Lesotho, this time consolidated  with the next shipment to the Rotary Club of Maloti. I think this is an amazing result.


The person who can be credited (or is it “blamed”?) for having the idea of sending books to schools in Lesotho  is Me Mosa Muso (pictured here with her husband, Lehlohonolo). I invited Mosa to tell her story for this  newsletter in which we celebrate the sending of over 200,000 books to Lesotho! Here  is her message to us all:  

My passion for reading started in 1969 when I was doing my Junior Certificate whereby we  

held reading competitions and prizes were awarded to the person wo read the most books.  

The library was of a very good standard because the school was run by the Sisters of the  

Good Shepherd from Canada. This motivated me to work at the bookshop in (the town of)  

Mazenod when I finished my Matric. In 1978 I went overseas and lived in Sweden. When I left  Lesotho one of the managers at the bookshop encouraged me to do Librarianship if I was to  

continue with my studies. Therefore when I arrived in Sweden I did that for two years. I came  back to Lesotho in 1987. In 1988 I got a job in South Africa where I worked at the library at  the University of the North and that’s when my dream of involving students in the reading  

field was born. While I was working there I organised a reading competition amongst 

primary schools in the area which was held at the University’s library. I came back to  

Lesotho when I got a job at the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) in 1992. When I  

arrived at TRC I realised that there were a lot of materials such as journals, newspapers and  magazines that were not being used. It was then I had a vision of involving high school  

learners to make use of these materials to enhance their English and gain knowledge of issues around them. Lesotho has  many schools that are situated in the mountains with no access to libraries. As a Librarian at TRC we took all these  materials and distributed them to some of the schools for them to use. We did that in the district of Qacha’s Nek and  Quthing. I left TRC after 2 years to other adventures, then the whole project came to a halt.  

Fate led me back to TRC in 2003, and two years later there it happened that Mr David and Liz Linn from Australia visited  TRC for their own reasons. We talked about the interest of involving the Basotho children into reading but unfortunately  there were no available books in the TRC library at the time and the schools did not have libraries either. We tried to come up with solutions to help address this problem. David and Liz then promised to assist me to reach this dream of  helping unprivileged Basotho children who had no access to libraries. This was the birth of Books for Lesotho Project  (B4L). From that year on when they visited TRC up to today Books for Lesotho has distributed 201,113 books and some  teaching aids to over 120 schools and organisations working with juveniles. 

It was through the good hearts of Australian people that they were able to collect these books yearly for Basotho schools.  This was done in order to help Basotho children in the most remote areas to have access to books As a pensioner now I  am proud to have achieved my dream of being able to assist a Mosotho child to have access to books despite where the  schools are situated. 

I hope this project will continue in the years to come until all the schools have access to books, regardless of their location. 

Thank you, Mosa 


1.Payments by PayPal – Books for Lesotho Inc has established an account with PayPal Giving Fund. The  Fund is a registered charity for tax purposes which then remits donated funds to your nominated charity.  The link is on page 3 of this Newsletter. 

2. A BRANCH OF B4L IN SYDNEY – The establishment of such a branch, B4L(NSW) moves slowly,  mainly being held up by COVID issues. 

3. SUPPLY OF BOOKS – Because books come in the door and then go out again, B4L is in continual need  of suitable books. There continues to be shortage at secondary school level of novels and particularly non fiction: can you help? Please ask at your local school, or friends or….. 

4. MITCHAM 50-AND-OVER EXERCISE GROUP – Members of this group have been long-term  supporters of B4L mainly through regular “small-change” donations. Since July 2020, donations have  totalled $565 compared with $822.00 in the same period last year..



Here is the next offering from a volunteer involved with B4L, in this case Rob Langley who volunteers at The  Barn (does all the running-around The Barn jobs, as per the image below) and is also a B4L Board member.  

Rob writes: Whilst shelving books which our skilled sorters have classified into their appropriate school year  level, I often pick up a book which reminds me of Deirdre – my late dearly beloved sister – who lost her battle  with ovarian cancer at far too young an age. It might be a book by Enid Blyton, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain  or R.M. Ballantyne. Dee was seven years older than me and in the days before television, she used to read to my  brother and me for hours. She would read a chapter from each of up to four books  

She would read until she “lost her voice”. This resulted in leaving me in a state of  unbearable suspense causing me to “jump the gun” and read the books myself. It is  to Dee that I owe my love of reading. If my volunteering at the Books for Lesotho  barn in some small way contributes to children also gaining a love of reading, then  

I feel that I am honouring Dee’s gift. 


Straight facts: 

Donations since 01 July 2020 = $8,844.37 (9 months) 

Same period last year = $8,100 

Budget for 2020/21 = $14,203 

Help us “Close-the -gap”… $6,100 

In December 2020, B4L received a cheque from PayPal Giving Fund for $733.48 (net after costs) from an  unknown donor. We cannot trace the source of a donation made through Facebook/PayPal account, so we  cannot say “thank you” directly. We hope, if you are a reader of this newsletter, you will contact us so we can  say it directly. A very generous and welcome contribution. 

There are now three ways to donate – each one will produce a receipt for Australian tax purposes.  


On 10 February, a kind-being called at The Barn at morning tea time along with a sticky Krispy Kreme  doughnut for each helper. Thank you, Candice for your kindness which was delivered with a sticker from  “Friends of Springbank Secondary College”. Check them out: Friends of Springbank Secondary College (2) Friends of Springbank Secondary College | Facebook

And, out of no-where came this message… after reading the label on one of the pallets … 

“Good afternoon, I’m Thato Moleleki from Lesotho, Southern Africa. I set up  

and currently work at one of the libraries you ship books to. I’m looking  

forward to help any way I can to make the whole idea of creating reading  

communities in Africa a success. On behalf of my country we are really  

grateful! Thank you.”  

Thato tells me that he is a student assistant at the Methodist High School  

in Berea, a suburb of Maseru the capital city. We  

seldom receive direct feedback from recipient  

schools, so this is a well-received message; thank you Thato. Because of the way books  are currently handled in Lesotho, I am not sure what Thato can do to help the project.  However, judging from the image he sent (shown above together with (right) a copy of the  carton label) he is doing a great job in setting up the library. The next best thing he can do  is to ensure that students have every opportunity to use the books, including introducing a  borrowing system – which he may already have done. 

Do you recall the report on the community library that Ntate (Mr) Mothae Moletsane started? He recently sent me a report posted by a local journalist… I thought you would like to read it: 

Local People Applauds Mpharane Community Library by a Staff Reporter  

Life for members of the community in Mpharane village of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, will never be the same again. This  after a community library, complete with a generous donation from Books For Lesotho (B4L), was made on 11 September  2020. Since then, members of the community in one of the remotest villages in the Kingdom of Lesotho, where access to  electricity and good communication are out of reach, have been able to borrow books and reading material from the  community library. Like many other areas in Lesotho, Mpharane is characterized by poverty and illiteracy among the  villagers – but members of the community say they want to be at par with the rest of the country, and indeed the global  world, in terms of access to information. Their pleas were heard when the Rotary Club of Maloti handed over five boxes of  books that were shipped from Australia by Books For Lesotho to Mpharane Community Library. The Rotary Club of Maloti  said it was proud to be in partnership with Books For Lesotho to distribute the books during its ‘Basic Education and  Literacy’ campaign in September last year. The Coordinator of the Mpharane Community Library project, Mothae  Moletsane, said the community was particularly grateful to Linn couple, founders of the B4L project for the donation. He  said the library becomes among the first in the country to be spearheaded by members of the community who are  making every effort to have it run and benefit everyone, in particular the youth and school children. Moletsane said apart  from the donated books, the library also stocks newspapers that were donated as returns by some local prominent media  houses such as Public Eye, Lesotho Times, The Post and others in Maseru, the capital. The library also stocks periodicals  and reading material like government gazettes and hazards from various government institutions that are based in  Mohale’s Hoek town – about an hour’s drive from the village through gravel road. Moletsane also said the community  was grateful to the owners of the building that houses the library for letting it out at reasonable rental for community  use. “Mpharane village is surrounded by about 12 primary schools and one High School and will therefore act as an  information and resource centre for these communities. However, for the library and resource centre to be more effective  we need more support from other donors and public entities,” he said. Moletsane said the most urgent need at the library  was to have it electrified through a government scheme project to communities or solar systems and other renewable  energy methods. He said the last time that the committee that runs the library asked for a quotation to buy a solar  energy system, the costs were too high to be raised from the members’ subscriptions. He therefore appealed to local  companies that deal with solar and renewable energy to consider this project next time they think about community  social responsibility initiatives. “We are also appealing to businesses and other organisations in the country to assist us to 

pay for the running costs of maintaining the building as well as looking after the volunteer librarian’s needs. Once we  have electricity we will be able to use computers and install the internet at the library to make it a one-stop all-purpose  resource centre for the community, “he said. Apart from this, Moletsane said, the resource centre will be able to run its  own fund-raising projects such as selling snacks and sweets as well as offering services such as typing, printing and  photocopying to the community. It is estimated that there are around 12, 000 villagers within the Mpharane constituency  and therefore such services will be readily received as the area is far away from the town. “If our plans of turning the  community library into a multi-purpose information and resource centre are successful then it will become a pilot project  in Lesotho. This will also help the youths who have finished school and are looking for jobs to search for employment and  apply through the internet without having to go to Mohale’s Hoek or Maseru,” he said. On the other hand, Moletsane  said the members of the community library committee are grateful for the support from local companies such as Blue  Ribbon Bakery for the food and refreshments offered to villagers at the launch of the library last year. He also expressed  his gratefulness to several government departments that came to the launch, including the ministries of Education,  Health, Law, Justice and Police, Local Government and others, for their support. 

Once again, at the start of preparing the Newsletter, I expected it would be a short one, but the news keeps  rolling in – like the books do. 

Thank you everyone who has contributed in whatever way. 

David Linn  

Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.