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.

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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.

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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!

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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

Newsletter #5, October 2016

FUNDRAISING FOR THE 2016 SHIPMENT

We have raised, or had promised, $4,600 (Mitcham Exercise Group has contributed $882 so far) towards the $5,081 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 $7,500. We need about $3,000 more this year!

Your contribution is needed for 2016. We invite you to donate now!

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

REPORT FROM MALAWI WHICH INSPIRES US TO ESTABLISH LIBRARIES

Check out this link for an inspirational story of a young man who used his initiative to help his parents and then his village. How? By using a library to access information which he then applied to make his windmill. Make sure you watch the embedded video. Congratulations William! Malawi inspiration

THE FIRST SCHOOL IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA TO DIRECTLY SUPPORT BOOKS FOR LESOTHO

During the month of August, Y12 social studies students at The Heights School (R to Y12) at Modbury Heights sponsored a project to collect books for Books for Lesotho, thereby becoming the FIRST SCHOOL in South Australia to conduct a book drive for us. They did a great job putting up A4 posters developed by Alex Kemp exclusively for our use. Our flyers went home with primary school students, while high school kids were left to respond to information in the school newsletter. Cardboard boxes were recycled and covered with green or blue paper and placed around the school. 3 of the girls involved (with parental help) delivered the great collection to our city shed ready for immediate sorting and packing. Thanks for doing such a great job. Good luck with your Y12 exams! Thanks to the staff who supported them. The image is of Shiraz Lal, Tijana Maric and Alex Del Gaudio. Absent: Courtney Spence.

Other schools which have sent surplus library books to Books for Lesotho:

Sacre Ceour, Glen Iris, Melbourne, Victoria: 
This school is down-sizing its library and was seeking a good home for the surplus books: “We have mainly non- fiction for senior students and some fiction too”, wrote Sharon Roth, Head of Information Services. These books have been packaged and are due to be delivered in Adelaide this week (c/- Chris McEvoy in Melbourne). Thanks to Sharon and Chris.

St Peter Chanel Primary School, Regents Park, Sydney, New South Wales: This school has had a cull of books as the library changes location. Books for Lesotho has been selected to receive the books – destined for Africa, the school’s choice. Thank you librarian Sarah Sly for your efforts in coordinating the tasks. Please send us a report for the next newsletter!

Mid North Christian College, Port Pirie, South Australia: “For Literacy Week this year (held during September 2016), our college are focussing on donating and creating books to give to a charity. Our Junior School classes will write, illustrate and publish approximately 80 picture books. Our Senior School students will donate a near new quality novel/picture book each (approximately 100-150 books).” So wrote Terry Edmunds, English Subject Co-ordinator.

The school then decided that they should be involved with a worthy local cause, and reported: “We held our Great Book Swap for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation this week with great success. We have approximately 200 books and magazines surplus to provide for Books for Lesotho, including a complete class set of mathematics text books.”

We expect these books to be delivered during the school holidays. Thank you, Terry, for your coordination.

Wiley and Jacaranda Publishers, Melbourne, Victoria: As we go to print, we are pleased to report that a large shipment of books is expected soon from the Brisbane warehouse of Wiley and Jacarada. While we do not usually accept large blocks of books with the same title, we have accepted these new books along with the challenge of how best to use them in Lesotho. Our normal selection process provides a range of books to any one school. Funding of such an extra is also a challenge! We will discuss best use with our partners in Lesotho, the Transformation Resource Centre. Thank you, Wiley:Jacranda and Luke. We look forward to an on-going relationship.

Prince Alfred College Preparatory School, Kent Town Adelaide: After an annual review of library stock, some books went to the Princes Emporium held on the Front Oval. Students brought a book to exchange and help renew library stock. We benefited from the remainder, now packed for Lesotho. Thank you Neil Andary, Head of the Prep. School, the librarian, and others who helped.

Other inquiries: We have received numerous other enquiries through our website or through GiveNow about donating books. Many of these enquirers have been based outside of South Australia and so the cost of freight becomes an issue. One such is Epping Secondary College (Melbourne) with 25 cartons of books which could come to us. Currently we do not have an economical arrangement with a transport company, nor do we currently have funds to pay for such freight. However, we are working on the issue. Hopefully, during 2017 we will have a coordinator based in Melbourne with a team of volunteers who will be able to ship directly out of Melbourne to Lesotho. There, that’s a dream waiting to come true.

TALKS GIVEN TO GROUPS ON BEHALF OF BOOKS FOR LESOTHO

Women’s Group, Mitcham: 
During August, Liz and David made a presentation on Lesotho and the Book Project to an independent group of women who meet in Mitcham, socialise, have a speaker, eat lunch, and appear to generally have a great time together. Ladies, thank you for your welcome, for the books donated and the donations.

Mothers Union, Anglican Parish of Mitcham, Church of St Michael: 
On that September day of storms and flooding rain in Adelaide, David and Liz braved the weather and joined about 12 other brave souls to share the story with them. It was great to discover that we knew many of the ladies (and the one male who accepted the wider invitation to hear us). President, Cynthia Kennedy, thanked us. She then shared a letter written by her grand-daughter which we will take to Lesotho with us. Lotte is 7 and is in Year 2 at a local primary school.

Here it is – and it reads:

“Dear Children in Lesotho. It is very nice meeting you by letter. I hope where you live is a nice place to live. I live in Australia the State is South Australia and the city is Adelaide! I hope you are having a very nice time at Lesotho and I hope you like our books. Hello my name is Lotte and I have a map at home and it probably (sic) has Africa I would love to live in Lesotho Love from Lotte”

Thank you, Lotte for your great letter.


REPORT FROM ST PETER PRIMARY SCHOOL IN NORTHERN LESOTHO

Books have been collected from some schools in Melbourne by Chris McEvoy and sent via Books for Lesotho through the Transformation Resource Centre in Maseru to Maliba Lodge in the north of Lesotho. The Lodge is situated within Tsehlanyane National Park and at the end of a long valley with many villages. The owners of the Lodge support programs to sustain the National Park and assist the local people. Agriculture, employment, health and education are perhaps the main areas that the Maliba Community Trust supports. The books have been distributed to local schools together with some steel shelving.

Ntate (Mr) Seqao Monyahaneat is a maths teacher in St Peter Primary School. The area has only in the last few years had electric power distribution system established with mobile phone service arriving soon after. Seqao and Books for Lesotho can now communicate with a few minutes between messages. Recently, Seqao sent us an image of the books on the shelves and reported: “The books are so wonderful for the students, and they are enjoying them however they (are) saved.”

We first met Seqao in July 2015 with his primary school maths class in the yard outside their classroom doing revision for exams – during the school vacation period!


SHIPMENT FOR 2016

The 2016 shipment is the first under the Books for Lesotho Inc. name. As we go to print, we have almost packed 6 pallets of books, over half of which have been collected independently by Books for Lesotho. The remainder have been supplied and packed by our partner, South Pacific School Aid (as in the past). This week a pallet load will arrive at our front gate from Chris in Melbourne (see above) to complete the shipment of 7 pallets –to be shipped before Christmas. 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.

As mentioned above, enquiries about donating books have come from other States in Australia. This follows establishing our website, being recognised at or near the top of the list with a Google search, and listing with GiveNow. We are also on Facebook – “like” us here.

HELP FROM SCHOOLS IN AUSTRALIA DURING 2017

We invite schools to consider conducting a book and/or a fundraising drive in support of Books for Lesotho early in 2017 – ready for Shipment #11. Useful resources are on our website. We are hoping to arrange for a transport company to support shipments coming from outside of SA – but such things take time.

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.

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. Please use GiveNow – the link is on top of the newsletter – in preference to a bank transfer.

An operating space for Books for Lesotho Inc. – This will be an urgent issue by year-end. We are looking for a home – at a minimum of 7m x 7m (a large double garage) but with some special access needs – like a truck to load pallets. 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

Newsletter #4, August 2016

FIRST ISSUE IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS ABOUT RAISING FUNDS!

We reported in the July Newsletter that Books for Lesotho Inc. has been endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). This approval allows donors to claim their contributions of $2 or more as a tax-deduction. We are pleased to advise that several donors have already availed themselves of this opportunity.

We also advised that we were applying to Give Now in order to be able to offer an on-line credit/debit card payment service for either single donations or regular monthly donations. We invite YOU TO USE THIS SERVICE NOW by clicking on the link alongside. Other options to donate are detailed later in this newsletter

Our budget to cover packing and freight costs for Shipment #10 to be sent later this year is $5,081. To date we have collected, or had promised, a total of $2,800.

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We invite you to donate now! JUST CLICK THE BUTTON ABOVE!

GOOD NEWS! FIRST SCHOOL IN SA TO DIRECTLY SUPPORT BOOKS FOR LESOTHO

During August, Year 12 social studies students at The Heights School (R to Y12), Modbury Heights in South Australia have sponsored a project to collect books in support of the project. They found us via an internet search! We congratulate the students for making this choice and putting in the effort. You are the FIRST SCHOOL in South Australia to conduct a book drive for us. More details next newsletter.

WE URGENTLY NEED A SUPPLY OF TENNIS BALLS!

Why? If you have ever tried to pack books of every imaginable size and shape into a box and maximise the number of books in the available space, you will know that it is a difficult task. We use very small books (and packages of sharpened used pencils) to fill spaces between books, but it is inevitable that small spaces are left. We consider this a waste as freight by ship is charged by space and not weight. What do we need to fill some of these small spaces? TENNIS BALLS!! Donations are welcome.

NEWS FROM LESOTHO

“The heaviest snow in two decades blanketed Lesotho in late July 2016. The storm prompted the airlifts of at least eight tourists, and caused the deaths of several shepherds …, according to news reports. It was the heaviest snow since 1996, said Stefan Grab, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). Twenty years ago, the snow would have lasted as long as a week in places. This year, he said, snow at altitudes at or below 1800 meters (roughly 5,900 feet) melted within a day or two.”

Image and quote credit – Link to Earth Observatory

SHIPMENT FOR 2016

The annual shipment for 2016 is the first under the Books for Lesotho Inc. name. The first pallet of 15 boxes was packed in April at our partners, South Pacific School Aid. In our “shed”, we have packed 2 more pallets, i.e. another 30 boxes. We have 3 more pallets to go which when combined with the pallet expected from our friends in Melbourne will make up the shipment of 7 pallets – due to go before Christmas.

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 to start libraries in their schools.

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.

DEVELOPING OUR COMMUNITY AND DIGITAL PRESENCE

Board Member, Niav, is a natural at developing our website. If you have not visited and seen her work and more importantly read the latest information about the project, please do so. Also, “Like Us” on Facebook.

The latest digital development is the service “DonateNow”. It is operated by www.OurCommunity.com.au. You can use a debit or credit card to make one-off or regular monthly donations which are immediately receipted. Please use the button at the top of this newsletter.

PLAN FOR AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS

We have prepared materials suitable for use in those schools that elect to conduct a book drive in support of the project. We also invite financial support based on the costs of getting the donated books to Lesotho. The first school in SA to take up this idea is The Heights School – as reported above.

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. (Please use “GIVENOW” in preference to bank transfer.)

SPACEThis will be an urgent issue by year-end. We are looking for a home – at a minimum of 12m x 20m but with some special access needs. Please make contact with us if you can help, even with an idea!

SPECIAL APPEAL – do you have access to a source of tennis balls? We can use them for filling spaces and the kids in Lesotho love them!!

 

Sincerely,
The Board, Books For Lesotho Inc.

Ribaneng High School

“What I have seen its very interesting the standard of English to our students has improved alot nowadays we perform well in the debating competitions so more books we will also improve the standard of Ribaneng High School results so I 100% encourage the donors to help so that this project becomes a world wide or cover the whole of Lesotho country. What I like again its the accountability and transparency towards the financial statements. May God bless you and give you and your family strength to run the project.” – Ntoa, teacher

“Contribution to books for Lesotho has improved the learning standards for us as the students we are now able to use standard English our vocabulary has improved. Our school campus is now turned into an English medium school and we are able to recite poems We thank TRC and ntate (Mr) David for the support showed.” – Mphatle, a student representative

 

Raelene & Jeff

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“Congratulations on your wisdom and far-sightedness in doing this. The project has been hugely successful from what we hear, probably beyond your dreams, and taking this step [of forming an official organisation] will enable Books for Lesotho to move up a notch. Well done good and faithful servants. It has been a privilege to play a small part as financial contributors, and we would like to continue that.”

Newsletter #3, July 2016

PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM DAVID AND LIZ

The words we used in Newsletter #2, 2016 confused some people. We sent out an email to clarify the situation. However, to be certain our supporters understand what has happened we repeat the message.

We are still VERY involved in the Books for Lesotho project – we are both on the Board and still the main drivers of the project. The new organisation has been formed for many reasons. Key points are:

To formalise what has been a private project thereby placing it on a proper governance basis, which has the result that:

  • the project can be presented to a far wider audience, and the audience can interact in return,
  • special opportunities become available, e.g., tax deductibility of donations, applications for funding to further develop Books for Lesotho and firm approaches to schools and businesses for help in sourcing books,
  • volunteer helpers can properly and responsibly get involved.

As we stated last time: “We hope this clears things up. If you are unsure, please contact us, as we want to retain your support as the project grows.” Thank you!

NEWS FROM LESOTHO

The good news from Daniel at Maliba Lodge in northern Lesotho is: “Yes, three weeks it snowed and tomorrow (8th July) as per weather forecast, we are expecting cold current. Means it might snow.” For a country that depends on snow to produce water for sale to South Africa together with the consequent hydro-power to sell too, this is great news after last year’s drought. Thanks, Daniel for the report.

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Daniel, on left, collects books from TRC for Maliba area,
from Librarian, Seithati Mokhomo and helper. (2014)

SHIPMENT FOR 2016

The annual shipment for 2016 is the first under the Books for Lesotho new name. As reported last time, the first pallet of 15 boxes was packed during April at our partners, South Pacific School Aid. In our own “shed”, we have almost completed packing the second pallet, another 15 boxes. The latter included books sourced from the annual Westminster School Fair, Mitcham Library Service and from two of our new Used-Bookshop partners. In return, we have donated to them suitable books that don’t meet our requirements. We now have 3 bookshop partners – they are listed under “Our Friends” on our website. Please support them.

We remind you that we plan to ship at least 7 pallets this year (including one pallet from Melbourne). 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 to start libraries in their schools.

DEVELOPING OUR COMMUNITY AND DIGITAL PRESENCE

June and July have been great months. Books for Lesotho Inc. was recognised as a Charity by Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) and last week was advised by the Australian Taxation Office of endorsement as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). The latter allows donors to claim their contributions of $2 or more as a tax-deduction.

By the end of this week we expect that you will be able to donate directly through our website using http://www.booksforlesotho.org/donate. The service, “DonateNow” is operated by http://www.OurCommunity.com.au.

Digital Presence

Our website, http://www.booksforlesotho.org, has been developed further; we intend to include more news from schools and organisations that have received books. However, we must remember that communications in many parts of Lesotho are still limited, so this might take a while to develop.

Please like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/booksforlesotho, and feel free to make comments on our Facebook page or on the website.

PLAN FOR SCHOOLS

We have prepared materials suitable for use in those schools that elect to conduct a book drive in support of the project. We intend to invite financial support based on the costs of getting the donated book to Lesotho.

One idea is to promote “A Book and A Buck”. Based on 2015 costs, we need up 50c/book to cover the packing and shipping costs.

We are seeking sponsors to help cover printing costs for the publicity material for use in schools. Please contact us if you are able to assist or if you want to know more.

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.

Donate – To our bank account: Books for Lesotho Inc. at Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), BSB 035-044  Account No: 228285. Please include your family name with the transfer and also advise us by email. Look out for the launch of the “GIVE NOW” direct giving system.

Space – We are looking for a home – at a minimum of 12m x 20m but with some special access needs. Please make contact if you can help, even with an idea!

Sincerely,
The Board, Books For Lesotho Inc.

St. Angela Cheshire Home for Disabled Children

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“This is the 3rd time our Home received this valuable donation of books. Our Home has an improved library due to this assistance. The children at the St. Angela Home were involved in the unpacking and displaying of books. Their involvement with those books has greatly helped them to develop interest in reading books. It is true that there are some of them who are difficult to be convinced that reading is the best hobby that one can adopt or develop. However, we are working hard to encourage them to start reading for fun that will then become progressive.

We wish your organisation all the best so that it continues the good work it is doing towards Basotho children’s education. We started very small with few text books but now we are growing bigger and better with your assistance. May the sky only be the limit.”

Update on the 2015 shipment of 7 pallets

16 MAR 82 Sefate sa Bophelo PS 21Image: Sefate sa Bophelo Primary School students receive books from the 2015 shipment

Books for Lesotho Board Members Liz, David, and Niav, along with long-term project-supporter Fiona, were in Lesotho at the time of the distribution in March, 2016. They visited several schools with staff from our Lesotho-based partner Transformation Resource Centre. There were some amazing scenes as the enthusiasm for the books was expressed by students. It was uplifting to see the progress most schools have made over their four years of receiving books for a library. Many schools had well-developed libraries, using the books in class or for individual reading.

Some schools allowed books to go home with students, thereby spreading their use and exposing families to reading for pleasure. Other schools are developing community libraries. All these developments are inspiring and encouraging for our donors and volunteers.

We also met Daniel and his team from Maliba Lodge when they came to TRC to collect the one pallet in the shipment which had come from Melbourne for distribution to schools in their valley in the north of Lesotho.

Newsletter #2, May 2016

STOP PRESS – REPORT FROM LESOTHO: Public Eye Online reports on the latest book distribution with a great story and photos! Click on the link: NEWS

Since the formation of Books for Lesotho Inc. on 06 December 2015 some significant things have happened …

SHIPMENT FOR 2016:

The annual shipment this year will be the first under the new organisation. On Friday 29 April, packing the first pallet of 15 boxes for 5 primary schools was completed at our partners, South Pacific School Aid. In our own “shed”, we have finished sorting the books that were donated from the annual Westminster School Fair. We have added the suitable ones to donations from other sources, including those recognised under “Our Friends” on our website.

We plan to ship at least 7 pallets this year, it being the last of the second 5-year cycle of distributions by our partner in Lesotho, Transformation Resource Centre (TRC). Next year a new group of schools will be selected to start a library.

DIGITAL PRESENCE:

Our website, www.booksforlesotho.org, has been launched. Please have a look!

We also have a Facebook page: www.facebook.com./booksforlesotho. Please have a look and “Like” us.

GOVERNANCE:

Books for Lesotho Inc. now has an ABN and TFN and a bank account. An opportunity to donate via the website and using a credit card will be available soon. We have applied for DGR status which will allow donors to claim tax-deductibility for their contributions. We will advise you of any change in our status.

OUR PLANS:

Currently we are preparing materials suitable for use in those schools that elect to conduct a book drive in support of the project. We intend to invite financial support based on the costs of getting the donated book to Lesotho. One idea is to promote “A Book and A Buck” (we need about 30c/book to cover the shipment costs – see below).

VISIT TO LESOTHO IN MARCH

Founders and Board Members, David and Liz, together with daughter, Fiona, and grand-daughter Niav (who is also a member of the Board) visited Lesotho. The visit coincided with the annual book distribution by TRC. This year TRC visited schools to deliver the books and look at their use in the school. It was a great experience for the four, even though David and Liz had made such visits previously. Check out the images and videos here.

INVITATION TO A PROJECT PRESENTATION:

In January, David and Liz hosted two opportunities to hear first-hand from them about the project and to share with them some of the time they have spent in Lesotho. They will host another session at their home in Mitcham SA, on Monday 27 June 2016 commencing at 7.30 pm. Bookings are essential due to limited space. Please book using linnd@bigpond.net.au or 08 83731224.

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. Information on what is suitable and what is not can be found here.

DONATE – Donations can be made through our bank account: please note your name and advise us by email (until we develop an automatic system). Banking details: Books for Lesotho Inc. Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), BSB 035-044  Account No: 228285

SPONSORSHIP – We are seeking sponsors to help cover printing costs for publicity material for use in schools (see OUR PLANS above). Please contact us if you want to know more.

FINANCIALS:

Record of the project (pre-Incorporation ) is shown in the following table and related information.

YEAR OF SHIPMENT NUMBER OF BOOKS NUMBER OF PALLETS DONATION

INCOME

TOTAL COST COST/ PALLET COST/ BOOK
2007 4,700 4 $2,907 $2,847 $712 60.6c
2008 6,406 3 $2,207 $2,109 $703 32.9c
2009 8,344 3 $3,315 $3,221 $1073 38.6c
2010 9,431 5 $3,717 $3,186 $743 33.8c
2011 12,469 6 * $4,005 $4,618 n.a. n.a.
2011 Our books only 5.45 (est) n.a. $3,938 $723 31.6c
2012 11,598 6 $4,111 $3,919 $653 33.8c
2013 7,344 5 $4,343 $3,683 $737 50.1c
2014 12,340 6 $4,795 $5,143 ** n.a. n.a.
2014 Our books only 6 n.a. $3,977 $663 32.2c
2015 16,285 7 $4,680 $3,980 $569 28.8c

* including 10 computers
** including purchase of 140 books from Help Lesotho (Canada)

 

TOTAL INCOME FROM DONATIONS                                       = $34,078

TOTAL COST OF PROJECT TO JANUARY 2016                        = $32,706

(2015 figures include estimates of donations and the costs of shipping 2015 consignment)

PROJECT SURPLUS TO DATE                      = $1,372 (Will be donated to Books for Lesotho Inc.)

 

TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS TO DATE                                  = 88,917

(plus 10 computers, wall posters, various board games (and the like), jigsaw puzzles, pens, pencils, rulers, staplers, blank paper, exercise books, folders, and for filling spaces, issues of National Geographic, Australian Geographic and tennis balls!)

 

The cost breakdown for the 2014 shipment:

  • SPSA (supply of boxes, plastic bags, etc.)                         = $180
  • Local transport costs to wharf                                              = $190
  • Shipping (Adelaide to Durban)                                             = $543

Durban to Maseru (wharf costs, duty, transport and agency fee) = $3,044

 

THE CHALLENGE:

The challenge for Books for Lesotho is to bring to reality the dreams David and Liz have. They are still wondering whether the project can develop into “A Library in Every Primary School in Lesotho”! As there are 2,500 Primary and 250 Secondary/High schools, meeting this dream will depend on ongoing and increased public support. We trust that you will continue to support “Books for Lesotho Inc.” Please ask if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
The Board, Books For Lesotho Inc.

Newsletter #1, February 2016

We are pleased to announce the formation of Books for Lesotho Inc. on 06 December 2015.

For many years the project to assist Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) in Lesotho to establish libraries in schools in that country has been conducted directly by David and Liz Linn. The project has grown and has the ability to grow further by opening to the wider community. Therefore, the decision was made to establish a new organisation to carry on the work. A constitution has been approved (you may request a copy) and a Board of Directors appointed.

The Board of Books for Lesotho Inc. comprises:

  • David Linn, Chairman – David has a long history in business and involvement with various NGO’s especially on the Board and as President of Australian Refugee Association Inc. He has links with supporting children in Lesotho dating from 1968. Since 2014 he has made about 14 visits to Lesotho.
  • Wayne Turner, Treasurer – Wayne has a finance background, works in the NGO sector and has been on the Board and as Treasurer of Australian Refugee Association Inc. for many years. Wayne is a strong advocate for Not for profit Boards and their organisations, and ensures they provide good governance and deliver quality services to the people in need.
  • Niav Andrews, Director – Niav completed a very successful Year 12 at Westminster School in 2015 and has secured a position at University of Adelaide for a double-degree in International Development and Law. She has significant experience in leadership and volunteering especially with CARA, supporting people with disabilities.
  • Elizabeth Linn, Director – Liz has extensive experience in education, especially at pre-school level. She is a volunteer with SPSA. Liz has links with supporting children in Lesotho dating from 1968 and since 2014 has made about 14 visits to Lesotho.
  • Peter Murchland, Director – Peter consults in IT enabled organisational change in the public, private and community sectors.  He also has extensive experience in strategy and governance with NGOs in human services.

The Board has applied to the ATO for  Income Tax exemption and Deductible Gift Recipient status (for tax-deductable donations). Promotional materials are being drafted including materials suitable for supporting book drives in schools. Books are already being sourced from schools in Melbourne and the intention is to extend this. A school district in USA is actively canvassing how to be involved in the project. This is a very exciting development. The Board will shortly seek sponsorship for the work.

In Lesotho, TRC is actively reviewing the in-country processes. Direct discussions will be held in March 2016 with TRC at about the time the 2015 shipment is being distributed to schools.

The challenge for the Board results from David and Liz still wondering whether the project can develop into “A Library in Every Primary School in Lesotho”!  As there are 2,500 Primary and 250 Secondary/High schools, meeting this dream will depend on ongoing and increased public support. We trust that you will continue to support “Books for Lesotho Inc.” Please ask if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
The Board, Books For Lesotho Inc.