Official Opening of New Premises

On Saturday, 27 May 2017, Hon Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, officially opened the new base for Books for Lesotho at The Barn, Pasadena High School (Adelaide). He and Mrs Lan Le met David Linn (Chairman of the Board), Liz Linn (Member of the Board), and Wendy House (Principal of Pasadena High School) before addressing the invited guests.

In his address Mr Le referred to the 10-year history of the project which has now delivered over 102,000 books to some 60 primary and secondary schools and about 10 organisations working with disadvantaged children in Lesotho. Lesotho is totally surrounded by South Africa, has a population of about 2,000,000 and is smaller than Tasmania.

Me Le pointed out that with 2,500 primary school and 250 secondary schools, many without resources beyond basic government supply, there was a big challenge ahead for Books for Lesotho.

Key people in Lesotho have declared this a “nation building project” whereby children are being given the opportunity to learn to read for pleasure and from that base increase their educational and work opportunities.

Mr and Mrs Le then inspected the facility were books are received from around Australia, sorted and packed for despatch to local partners in Lesotho.

Morning tea was provided by staff and students of the school.

St. Camillus Centre

“I wanted to thank you again for the amazing book donation and taking time out of your trip to Lesotho to stop by St. Camillus! You, you’re wife, and your organization are doing wonderful things and I’m so glad we got to be a part of it.

I have attached some photos of the kids using the books today. I wasn’t with them and our new volunteer let them have the books outside which we usually don’t do but they handled the books well!”

– Katie Walker, Healthy Youth Volunteer, Peace Corps Lesotho

Newsletter #8, April 2017

A lot has happened in the past eight weeks, far more than can be put in a “readable” length newsletter. Here are the highlights.

BOOK DISTRIBUTION, MARCH 2017

Founders, David and Liz, were at Transformation Resource Centre in Maseru for the book distribution ceremony, the 10th annual event. For many schools this marked the end of the five-year cycle for receiving books. You can see the long list of recipients here.

We can all be proud of the effort the staff at TRC have put in to distribute 102,189 books and other items over the life of the project.

There was extensive media coverage of the event especially by PublicEye (two long articles) and LesothoTV (a long segment on the event).

For more images click here.

MEETING OUR LESOTHO PATRON

David and Liz had the pleasure of meeting Books for Lesotho’s Lesotho Patron, His Royal Highness, Prince Dr Seeiso Bereng Seeiso. Prince Seeiso is an outgoing person with a high profile in Lesotho. You can be assured that he is a strong supporter of raising standards of literacy in Lesotho and for the Lesotho people to take advantage of the opportunities projects such as Books for Lesotho provides.

meeting patron

VISITS TO SCHOOLS

David and Liz visited several schools and organisations during their visit. In the north it was two of the schools supported by Maliba Lodge through the Maliba Community Development Trust. Discussions revealed the need for training for teachers on how to establish a school library and how to use the books to complement the official school syllabus, together with the provision of bookshelves to support the libraries. Both topics are the subject of discussions on what is needed and how to raise the necessary funds.

For more images click here.

In Maseru we visited Safate sa Bophelo English Medium School (you will find video images of Principal Manthatiso describing the value of the books to the students and teachers and see the books on shelves in the current library) and St Camillus Centre for orphans and vulnerable children near Mohales Hoek.

There are examples of excellent use of the library books which we hope will encourage other schools to make use of the opportunity the books provide. However, a training course for teachers remains a significant need.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS IN LESOTHO

Discussions were held with TRC by way of review of 10 years of operations and “what of the future?” A meeting with the Rotary Club of Maloti explored the possibility of developing another distribution partnership. We will report the outcomes in due course.

AND IN AUSTRALIA …

We are pleased to announce that we have a new home at The Barn, Pasadena High School. (Pasadena is an inner-southern suburb of Adelaide). Here we receive books, sort and pack them into boxes, and then load them onto pallets ready for the long journey to Lesotho.

The Barn is open to receive books every Wednesday from 9.30 am until noon. Please deliver your books here or visit to learn about the operation and the ways that you can help.

Fund Raising for the 2017 Shipment which might develop into additional “Shipments”!!

Your financial contribution is needed. We invite you to donate now. Donations of $2 or more may be claimed as a tax-deduction.

Sincerely,

The Books for Lesotho Board

Captain Dennis Krieg

DennisTwo of our Board members, Liz and David Linn, recently returned from Lesotho, where the 10th annual book distribution was taking place.

When David told one of the flight attendants on the flight to Johannesburg that the main purpose of the trip was to visit Lesotho, he suggested a discussion with the Captain, Dennis Krieg. David met him while both wandered the plane and had a very long talk about their respective humanitarian projects. Dennis was gobsmacked to discover an organisation that sends books to Lesotho, as a kind friend had left him with over 3,000 children’s books for which he had no home. Now he has one, Books for Lesotho Inc.! Dennis was kind enough to invite David and Liz to travel to the poorest parts of Soweto to meet some of the people he is supporting to change their circumstances, and to meet some of the local people who are working for change, together with visiting some of the related projects. Five hours of sharing with people while walking the “streets” and walkways of Kliptown was inspiring and tiring. It was an amazing chance connection resulting in a rewrite of the day’s activities; new friends and more support for Books for Lesotho. Thanks Dennis.

Moving premises!

Today an incredible team of volunteers helped us to move out of our old premises at OK Psychology and into our new space in The Barn at Pasadena High School. Thanks so much to everyone who helped out and allowed the move to happen so quickly!

out of 129into the barn

Woodcroft Primary School

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“In this wonderful global world that we live in, we really need to have our eye out for our neighbour and see how we can best help and serve them. Thinking that we’re not using our books in our school community, what a more of a wonderful thing to help others who really need the help and can learn and develop in their communities. It’s a real honour to give these books over where they’ll be well loved and used as we’ve loved and used them.” – Lisa Grieger, librarian

 

Newsletter #7, January 2017

READING, “THE NEW CIVIL RIGHT”

We quote George W. Bush: “My friend Phyllis Hunter of Houston, Texas, calls reading the new civil right. Equality in our country will remain a distant dream until every child, of every background, learns so that he or she may strive to rise in this world. No child in America should be segregated by low expectations, imprisoned by illiteracy, abandoned to frustration and the darkness of self-doubt.” (With thanks to Noel Pearson writing in The Australian (newspaper), 10-11 December 2016)

Books for Lesotho Inc. is helping children in the Kingdom of Lesotho join with others in the world who have access to books to read – “A basic human right” (Noel Pearson, as above).

Since forming in December 2015, Books for Lesotho Inc. has achieved great things including shipping 13,272 books to Lesotho which brought the total since the project commenced to 102,189 books!

HOW HAS THIS BEEN ACHIEVED?

With the help of many people and organisations.

The list of schools (now from SA, VIC and NSW) which have contributed books is now too long to keep the list going here (and we are afraid of missing some!). One standout contribution has been through Sandra, who with the help of others from Bundoora Secondary College in Melbourne, delivered 19 boxes of books ready packed to go! Sandra reported, “We have completed boxing up all the books! Big job!” and “We are so glad we were able to send our books to where they will be of some benefit.” They are shown here, loaded and ready to deliver to our friend Chris McEvoy in Melbourne, for freighting to Adelaide.

bundoora

Chris, of Preschem (Australia) Pty Ltd, is a huge supporter of Lesotho and we are pleased to be working with him to develop our presence in Victoria and, most importantly, helping children in northern Lesotho.

The following organisations have made significant contributions this year either cash or in-kind. There are individuals who have made significant financial contributions which we appreciate, but we also know the smaller amounts all add up!

  • South Pacific School Aid Inc. (a major source of books, human packing resources and shipping arrangements)
  • Mitcham Exercise Group
  • Colonel Light Books
  • Blackwood Book Exchange
  • East Avenue Books
  • Westminster School Fair
  • Mitcham Rotary Bookshop
  • Mitcham Library Service
  • Optimistic Kids
  • Mitcham Motor Garage
  • We Are Robots
  • Norcrest Insurance Agencies
  • Rudi Botha, Beach Bush Berg, Durban South Africa
  • Transformation Resource Centre, Maseru, Lesotho (proponents and managers of the project in-country)

logos-compiled

LESOTHO CHILD COUNSELLING UNIT

Books for Lesotho has helped (in association with Transformation Resource Centre) many schools and organisations (working with children) including Lesotho Child Counselling Unit in Mazenod.

Here is an image of founder, Lydia, and “her children” shopping in Maseru Mall.

lesotho-child-councilling-unit

Lydia writes, “We were doing Christmas shopping at Maseru Mall, that’s why we were so excited. Remember to some of us this was the very first experience of going out to choose what we want for Christmas.”

YOUR DONATIONS

During 2016 you have donated $8,720.20 (including $1,007.50 from Mitcham Exercise Group – $882 last year!). What an amazing result.

This income covers our budgeted expenditure for the 2016 shipment and basic operating costs. We shipped 13,272 books on 7 pallets. Total over 10 years = 102,189 books!

We are expecting to expand during 2017. The book target will not be determined until March. Until then, our fundraising target is $7,500.

Donors are able to claim their contributions of $2 or more as a tax-deduction. Using the link to the right, you can donate on-line using a credit/debit card for payment of either a single donation or regular monthly donations.

For other options to donate, please email us for instructions.

Sincerely,

The Books for Lesotho Board

Stop Press

The 10th annual shipment of school library books from Australia has arrived at Transformation Resource Centre in Maseru, Lesotho ready for distribution in March 2017. Total number of books sent is over 102,000.

Newsletter #6, November 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

The past few weeks have been amazing, and very busy. Here’s a taste:

  • Books for Lesotho Inc. appointed its first Patron
  • 10th Annual Shipment – completed and shipped
  • Books came from many sources, including Wiley.Jacaranda and schools in Victoria and NSW
  • Great quote by Neil Gaiman

BOOKS FOR LESOTHO INC. APPOINTS ITS FIRST PATRON

The Board has great pleasure in announcing the appointment of His Royal Highness Dr Seeiso Bereng Seesio as our Patron for Lesotho – the first Patron we have appointed.

As you will learn from reading more about HRH Prince Seeiso below, we are very honoured to have his support of the work in Australia involving collecting, packing and sending books to Lesotho.

We consider that his involvement also sends a message to people in Lesotho that this project, hosted in-country by the Transformation Resource Centre, is of national importance. With his commitment to charitable works and with his charity, Sentebale, focussed on helping children, we see his appointment as Patron as most appropriate.

Welcome, Your Royal Highness, as Lesotho Patron of Books for Lesotho Inc.

patron

His Royal Highness (HRH) Dr Seeiso Bereng Seeiso was born on the 16th April, 1966. He is the second son of the late King Moshoeshoe II and Queen ‘Mamohato Seeiso of Lesotho. HRH Seeiso is the younger brother of the present King of Lesotho, His Majesty King Letsie III.

HRH Seeiso’s education began at Iketsetseng Primary School in Lesotho, and at Gilling Castle and Ampleforth College schools in Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK). He returned to Lesotho in 1982 and continued at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) where he obtained Bachelor of Arts in Law (BA) in 1986. In 1996, he was awarded a Chevening Scholarship where he obtained a Masters Degree in International and Political Economy Studies from The University of Birmingham, UK. He spent six months as a volunteer on a Kibbutz in Israel. During that time, he studied the cooperative system. Thereafter he studied Mandarin in China.

HRH Seeiso was appointed as the Principal Chief of Matsieng and became a Senator of the National Constituent Assembly in 1991. He is committed to equality of opportunity for all and favours a complete reform of succession laws in Lesotho, which currently favours men. He has led and stimulated debate around the present “Act of Succession” which provides for male children but not female children to inherit the Throne.

During 2005 – 2011, HRH served as the High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Lesotho to the UK, where he was also accredited to Malta, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus. His focus was to encourage investment to Lesotho, for example, the development of the Tourist Industry and International Trade. HRH is also much involved with environmental matters and safety; particularly with regards to water and sanitation, the effects of climate change and food security. It was during his tenure of office as the High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Lesotho, that he was awarded Doctor of the University (DUniv) by Birmingham University, UK in 2007.

In 2008, HRH Seeiso received Diplomat of the Year from Africa Award in the Diplomat Magazine.

In 2014 he was awarded a certificate of recognition by the Starkey Hearing Foundation in USA.

patron-2

Charitable work is his highest and important personal priority. In 2006, together with Prince Harry, HRH co-founded the Charity “Sentebale” (“Forget–me–not”). Prince Harry is quoted as saying the name “Sentebale was chosen as a Memorial to the charity work of both their late Mothers, Princess Diana of Wales and Queen ‘Mamohato Bereng Seeiso of Lesotho. Sentebale was established to support organizations working with Lesotho’s disadvantaged young people and children, particularly those orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS.

HRH Seeiso has also worked closely with the UN Development Programme on issues of Democracy, Leadership and Good Governance. He worked rigorously with UNICEF on the programs focussing on the general well-being of children; with WFP/FAO on matters of nutrition and food security; and UNFPA on addressing population and development issues, with an emphasis on reproductive health and gender equality.

HRH is an active Patron of a number of Charities, including Khokanyana–Phiri (“Linking Live”) bringing help to the less privileged people of Lesotho particularly by providing water to communities and planting trees to create fuel and reduce soil erosion; Send-a-Cow helping over 3,000 households to create sustainable food and local markets in Lesotho; and Lesotho Society of Mentally Handicapped Persons (LSMHP).

HRH has been appointed as the first Chancellor of the Centre for Accounting Studies (CAS) in 2012, and in 2015, as a Climate Change Champion representing the Common Market for East and Southern Africa Region (COMESA).

Due to his commitment as a progressive Leader in Lesotho, HRH Dr Seeiso Bereng Seeiso, has been recently elected and inaugurated as The President of the Senate – (the Upper House of Parliament) Lesotho. This is the first time a Senator was elected as President.

The Prince is married to HRH Princess Mabereng (nee Machaka Makara).   They have been blessed with three children – Prince Bereng Seeiso Constantine, Princess Masentle Tabitha and Prince Masupha David.

If you are interested in more images such as these two showing our new Patron, try this link.

Credits: L – Telegraph UK   R- The Times UK

10th ANNUAL SHIPMENT (2016) COMPLETED AND SHIPPED

The 2016 shipment was completed last week and left South Pacific School Aid “Book Barn” on Friday 04 November bound for Lesotho. Comprising 105 boxes/cases with 13,272 books loaded on 7 pallets it brings the total number of books sent to 102,189!! The books are due to be distributed to schools in Lesotho during March 2017. Two of our Board members, David and Liz, expect to be present at the ceremony.

This is the last shipment of the second 5-year cycle of distributions by Transformation Resource Centre (TRC), our partner in Lesotho. Next year TRC will select a new group of schools to start libraries.

BOOKS CAME FROM MANY SOURCES

Books came from many sources (thank you all) including publisher Wiley.Jacaranda who shipped two full pallets from Brisbane to Adelaide and provided quite a challenge to David and Liz on their steep driveway.

They had earlier received another pallet from our supporter Chris in Melbourne with books from several sources. Last week 3 big boxes came from St Peter Chanel School, Regents Park, Sydney – thank you, Sandra Sly. We picked up great books from several bookshops and groups and had private donations too.

GREAT QUOTE BY NEIL GAIMAN

quote

Source: Reading Is Fundamental

With thanks to Helen Hookings who posted it on Facebook! 

FUND RAISING FOR 2016 SHIPMENT

We have raised, or had promised, $5,174 (Mitcham Exercise Group has contributed $887 so far – enough to cover the cost of more than one pallet!) towards the $5,236 required for Shipment #10 – 7 pallets of books.

Being an incorporated body, we have additional running costs bringing the annual budget to run Books for Lesotho to $7,650. We need about $2,500 more this year!

Your contribution for 2016 is welcome. We invite you to donate NOW!

f366978d-6359-485e-a7a8-5b27d996fcc8

Donations of $2 or more may be claimed as a tax-deduction.

WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?

GIVE BOOKS

We are accepting fiction and non-fiction books (new or used – but only in good condition) suitable for first readers up to Year 12 level. Look here for detailed Information: WE NEED

DONATE

To our bank account:

Books for Lesotho Inc. at Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), BSB 035-044  Account No: 228285. Please include your organisation or family name with the transfer and also advise us by email including your name and address.

Otherwise, use GiveNow if you wish to use a credit card.

TENNIS BALLS

Used to fill the few empty spots in the packed boxes, and then used by children in Lesotho – do you have access to used tennis balls that we can use?

AN OPERATING SPACE FOR BOOKS FOR LESOTHO INC.

This is now an URGENT issue.

We are looking for a home – We consider that we need a minimum of 50 sq m of ground floor space with a concrete floor, a wide door with concrete forecourt, and access for a truck to deliver and/or pick-up loaded pallets. We also need access to toilets and parking nearby for a few volunteers, preferably with easy access including weekends. Please make contact with us if you can help, even with an idea!

INTERSTATE/INTRASTATE TRANSPORT OF DONATED BOOKS

Do you have contact with a company which might be able to help bring donated books to Adelaide?

Sincerely,

The Books for Lesotho board