Newsletter #33, March 2024


Liz and I have just returned from 11 days in Lesotho where we have re-learned that this project produces  significant and long-lasting results, and that more books are needed in existing school libraries and in schools  without a library. Back home, everyone tells us what a great project this is! But we do not seem able to trigger  the financial support to match the real dollar costs needed to send books to meet the needs in Lesotho. Why?  

YOUR FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION IS NEEDED TO HELP MEET THE 2023/24 BUDGET. Our 2023/24 budget to send 14 pallets of books this year = $22,353. 

I know every charity is asking for your support at this time, and we all seem to be finding fund-raising difficult,  but YOUR donation (whatever the amount) is needed to help bridge the gap!  

Donating is easy – see the end of this newsletter. 

LET’S BE POSITIVE AND RECOGNISING SOME OF OUR CORPORATE FRIENDS … At “the crack of dawn”, our new supplier of cartons for shipping the books  to Lesotho arrived with 520 cartons which is sufficient for over 2 years of  packing. The driver from Visy Boxes and More can be seen preparing to  unload while “volunteers”, Hank and Ray, called out on “double time” stood  by to handle the load. Thank you, Ashley and team from Visy for your  generous support of B4L. The cost of the cartons was covered by our long  term supporters, Chris McEvoy and Preschem Pty Ltd from Melbourne. In  the past several years they have provided cartons from Melbourne. The new  arrangement saved lots of arranging and was a much better financial arrangement. Thanks Chris. 

Three Sun Possums (LINK) donated cash sufficient to fund one pallet of books from Adelaide to Lesotho.  Thanks, Michelle, for your ongoing support. I hope our readers will support your online business! 


Liz and I are freshly back from almost one month visiting Namibia (6th visit) and Lesotho (16th visit). We stated  that this was a “farewell tour” (and not intended to be like famous artist’s “farewell tours”), but everywhere we  were told “that we would be back”. We are grateful for the way we were welcomed In Lesotho and thanked for  

the project. We responded by recognising the deep friendships we had made with many people over the years  and the important links with the 3 B4L partners. We acknowledged that B4L was NOT just Liz and me, but was  supported by a Board, regular volunteers at The Barn, financial supporters and the many and varied suppliers of  the books that end of on library shelves in Lesotho. 

The 3 Lesotho partners held a combined “reception” in the office grounds of one of them, Transformation  Resource Centre. It was a beautiful day and the project and partnerships was duly recognised. 

Partner Reception

Later, a meeting with the Rotary Club of Maloti: 

Above: I addressed the meeting and presented T-shirts for needy kids donated from Oz, while Liz presented a huge book of images of  Australia; B4L was presented with a Rotary honour certificate; members present at the meeting (which was followed by fellowship

Then, a meeting with the Rotary Club of Mantsopa: 

This was the first time for a face-to-face meeting with RC of Mantsopa. I addressed the meeting and answered questions. It was a  meaningful time with our latest partner. 

There are many other “book” initiatives happening in Lesotho – it is truly amazing to learn about them. For  example, a friend, Monica …. has started the Molete Reading Club. We visited one Saturday morning: Molete Reading Club

Near the end of our visit to Lesotho, we drove into some of the very high mountains (they are everywhere!) over  3 days for events with the Rotary Club of Maloti and the Ministry of Education in Thaba Tseka and in  Mokhotlong for another event with the NGO, NewToro Books, established as a courier-delivered book lending  service. To get there, we drove on the A3 “highway” which in parts is as rough/tough as almost any track we  have encountered in Australia during our 4×4 holidays. However, the country is very beautiful and the people are wonderful and deserving of all the support we can muster. NewToro Books Reading Club children sang, danced and spoke (confidently) at this lovely event. 

Book worms!!! This is an expression we have not previously encountered in Lesotho, this time meeting it at  least twice. These are students who read books assiduously, and from any source. One Grade 9 student at St  Rose High School told me that she had read every book that she liked that was in the school library and had read  them at least twice – therefore, they needed more books. Her English was clear and spoken naturally – what an  example for other students, and an encouragement for B4L to maintain the supply. Another student told me she  liked “spooky” books, and that she, too, had read all such books in the library. Two students from Mafeteng  spoke at the Partner Reception, one giving a short speech while the other recited a poem about the value of  education. It was another sign of the value of education and the B4L part in supplying library books. 

Not retiring…. Some people thought that as this was intended to be our last visit to Lesotho that we were  “retiring” or even that Books for Lesotho was closing. Neither is the case. The Barn has a year’s supply of  books to sort, pack and send. As I write there are 2 very big loads of books to collect in the coming week! (All  we need are funds to pay the shipping costs to get them to the waiting schools.)  

Liz and I have been very privileged to visit again, to see and experience so much, and to meet so many  people. We came home very tired! 

BOOK DONORS in the past 3 months: 

Angaston and District Lions Bookshed, Glenside Lions Bookmart, Mitcham Motor Garage (from several sources),  Mitcham Rotary Book Shop, Clovelly Park PS, Red Geranium Opp Shop (supporting Medecins Sans Frontieres – Doctors  Without Borders, Woodend PS, Ardrossan PS , Mt Barker PS and several private donations. We thank you ALL! (I’m  sorry if I missed someone!) 


I trust the above reports warm your hearts and let you know what good work we are all doing for this wonderful  country, the “Kingdom in the Sky”.  

Thank you to everyone who supports this “nation building” project through donations of books, money and “in kind”. 

David Linn Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.

Newsletter #32, December 2023




Books for Lesotho found this NGO, NewToro Books based in remote Mokhotlong, Lesotho…and B4L assisted  by donating books to supplement the loan collection. Now I see the NewToro Young Readers Club is in  operation, and below you will see it for yourself…what an inspiration! 

The town of Mokhotlong:: And then there are our friends, members of the Rotary Club of Maloti, who on Sunday 26 November 2023 took  part in the Walk for Hope Funwalk with a purpose: “We aim to support our communities by bringing hope to  the world”. Their message: “If you would like to improve lives of communities we live in, please join us.”

  They have crumbling roads, too! And a celebration at the end.. 

And what does the club do in association with B4L? Here is a recent Facebook posting: “Rotary Club of Maloti – 30 November 2023 

“Ernest Hemingway says there is no friend as loyal as a book…wrapping up this November our highlight is  definitely the distribution of 35 boxes of books to inspire young leaders. 

The following schools received books: Linakeng Primary, Linakaneng High school, Lesobeng Primary, Lesobeng  High school, Takalatsa Primary, Takalatsa High School, Mononong Primary School, Sehonghong Primary School. “Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or a duty, it should be offered as a gift.  “In Rotary we touch lives and improve the communities we live in.

Today a Reader tomorrow a Leader’” 

And then there are books for FOR “THE HUB”, IN MORIJA, LESOTHO I have known of The Hub for many years, even visiting a few years ago when it was at The Morija Musem. It is  a local self-sufficent organisation aimed at helping unemployed young people develop skills while enjoying  friendship. I see The Hub has moved and recently started constructing a new library building. Meanwhile, an  enterprising young person invoved with The Hub apporached B4L requesting books to supplement their library  (which has been mainly aimed at young people) and also to enable it to include the wider community of Morija.  B4L has included 3 boxes of books for The Hub in the shipment to Transformation Resource Centre which left The Barn on Monday 18 December 2023. This brought the total number of books sent to Lesotho to 296,026.

The Hub opening in 2015 (original site) The Hub in action today The new library under construction** **Images from The Hub’s Facebook pages

And the GOOD STORIES go on in Lesotho!!

BOOK DONORS in the past 3 months: 

Emmanuel College: Immanuel College Senior School Dr Kylie S Booker, Director of  Resources & Innovation, has, again, facilitated the donation of books to Books for  Lesotho from two sources, the annual Once Upon a Festival and the Immanuel Primary  School library. B4L thanks Kylie for her consistent support and thanks the various donors  of an excellent collection of books.  

Above: Kylie with Liz at the pickup of the donated books 

Seymour College, Reynella East College, East Adelaide PS, Concordia College,  Woodcroft PS, Coomandook Area School, St Peter’s Woodlands Grammar School,  Woodend PS, Mylor PS, etc, etc I’m sorry if I missed your school! Plus Angaston and District Lions Bookshed, Glenside Lions Bookmart, Mitcham Rotary Bookshop.,  Mitcham Motor Garage and several private donations. We thank you ALL! 


As required by law, B4L had its AGM in November. The 7 dedicated members of the board all continue (one half of the directors must retire each year but can be re-elected). Donations from private, corporate and  organisational sources totalled $18,141.34 plus $525 which was for a special purpose with expenses being  $21,592.88. To maintain sending 14 pallets each year will likely cost B4L $22,353 in 2023/24.  

YOUR donation is needed! Donating is easy – see the end of this newsletter. Make it a Christmas present.


B4L acknowledges recent/ongoing help in various ways from: 

Cleanaway Waste Management Limited – disposal of paper and cardboard for recycling Visy – Boxes & More – makers of cartons and boxes – supplying 500 cartons (over 2 years suppy) Preschem Pty Ltd – Timber finishes and treatments – covering the cost of 500 cartons! Thank you; you help balance the budget. 


I trust the above reports warm your hearts and let you know what good work we are all doing for this wonderful  country, the “Kingdom in the Sky”.  

Thank you to everyone who supports this “nation building” project through donations of books, money and “in kind”. 

David Linn Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.

Newsletter #31, September 2023


We thank all our generous donors of books; we receive suppliers of wonderful books ready to sort and pack for our partners in Lesotho. However, we are always looking for donations of books – from first children’s books to young adults, fiction and non-fiction. Please talk to your school or local library about what they do with “discards”. Many libraries still do not know that organisations like B4L exist to “recycle” their discards for “hungry” readers in places like Lesotho.

How do we get the books to Lesotho? By sea freight packed on pallets. To do this we need $s! Our income last year through donations totalled $18,141 which fell well short of the costs. To maintain sending 14 pallets each year will likely cost B4L $22,353 in 2023/24. YOUR donation (however small) will help us meet that target.

Giving is easy – see the end of this newsletter.


THE ROTARY CLUB OF MALOTI receives books and marks up a first

On Saturday 02 June, Rotarian Maud Boikanyo sent a WhatsApp message: “Consignment received and in storage at the Schools Supply Unit of the Ministry of Education in Maseru. Thumbs up.” 

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This was our 5th shipment to Rotary Club of Maloti (RCoMal). Usually, a Rotary club has nowhere to store such a shipment while the distribution is arranged. After discussions with the Ministry about distributing books to schools in and around Thaba Tseka (mid-country, east of Maseru), the two entities are cooperating. Liz and I have helped unpack a container load of books for schools, being part of African Library Project annual shipment from the USA. This same Ministry facility was being used by African Library Project as a storage base from which schools collected their allocations. Before a school year starts, the facility is full of curriculum materials, but for the rest of the year it has limited schools’ stock, The fact that RCoMal has linked with the Ministry to use this temporary storage facility prior to the distribution is a FIRST for a B4L shipment. Well done RCoMal.


The annual shipment to RCoMan left The Barn late in June and arrived in Maseru on 07 September.

Here is an extract from a Facebook post at the time of their annual “handover” to a new Board. It celebrates the club’s achievements in which you all played a part as supporters of B4L!

Here are 3 images showing the club at work with a book distribution at a school: 

May be an image of one or more people
May be an image of 10 people, people studying, book and text
May be an image of 5 people, plant, Saqsaywaman, mountain and picnic

And 3 images taken at the 2023 “handover” event – full of celebration and pride:

May be an image of 2 people, people standing and text
May be an image of 13 people, people standing, office and text that says "Queen Of My Heart"
May be an image of 1 person, smiling, standing, toecap shoes and text that says "ASNE The Rotary Found 6 Areas Of Focu 'eace and conflict prevention res sease prevention & treatment /ater &s & sanitation Marternal & child health Basic education & literacy Economy& community development Service Above Self"


An enterprising young woman named Rest started this NGO, based in Mokhotlong in the mountains in NE Lesotho, to order to provide a library service with delivery to the reader’s home, anywhere in the country. (I find it impossible to understand how she achieves this considering the remoteness and mountainous country that Lesotho is!) The first boxes of books from B4L were shipped through the Rotary Club of Maloti during 2022 with a second delivery (also through RCoMal) arriving a few months ago. Below are images of Rets and her helpers unpacking the books. Do they look excited?

Click this link to watch video of the books being unpacked!


A reminder: With a 2023/24 budget of $22,353 and donations to date totalling just over $4,000, B4L is looking forward to your contribution, no matter the amount.


I trust the above reports warm your hearts and let you know what good work we are all doing for this wonderful country, the “Kingdom in the Sky”. 

Thank you to everyone who supports this “nation building” project through donations of books and $s.

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David Linn

Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.

Newsletter #30, June 2023


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Recently we were privileged to meet 4 members of the Rotary Club of Maloti who visited Adelaide after attending a Rotary Convention in Melbourne.  We enjoyed meeting them, being entertained by them, and learning from them about the relevance and value of the books to Lesotho schools and communities. We are all inspired to continue the project! They are an inspiring bunch of people!

Above are 2 images of the visitors with those volunteers who were able to add a special morning at The Barn of sorting and packing plus morning tea and lots of talk and noise to show how we do it. Later in the day some of us were able to share a meal with the visitors. During the visit we introduced them to Adelaide including Cleland Wildlife Park. We reluctantly left them all at the airport. Next morning, Maud sent me a message from the Qantas plane they had boarded in Sydney ready to fly to Johannesburg, saying they were all safely there (there had been some dramas on the way), and thanking us for the times we shared.


It’s now tax time (for those who have to deal with the ATO), so here is the reminder to make a donation on/before 30 June to help us close the gap in the budget:Donated to date in 2022/23 year – $15,500 (approx.)   Budget for 2022/23 was $22,939.  Expenses for the year are about $21,500 (this amount includes a awaited big bill for last shipment!); makes a shortfall of about $6,000


A shipment of 4 pallets left The Barn for the Rotary Club of Maloti several weeks ago, and recently arrived 

in Maseru.

The most recent shipment was to the Rotary Club of Mantsopa which left The Barn 14 June 2023.

The total number of books sent to Lesotho to date is 278,284


To Prechem Pty Ltd in Melbourne for freighting books from Epping Primary School in Melbourne (there may be some from the Secondary School, but we have not sorted them all yet!). We have had lots of books from Epping schools, but not for a while; thank you!

Preschem also provided us with 125 new cartons – sufficient for all shipments in the 2023-24 year.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the project during 2022-23.

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David Linn

Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc

Newsletter #29, March 2023

Time rushes on – 

It’s 3 months to tax time (for those who have to deal with the ATO), so here is the reminder to make a donation  on/before 30 June to help us close the gap in the budget: 

Donated to date in 2022/23 year – $11,352.74 Budget for 2022/23 is $22,939 

For all who have donated $’s to have us at about 50% coverage of the budget, thank you

2 companies have each made a donation this year sufficient to cover the cost of two pallets of books to be  shipped to Lesotho – I think they deserve your support! 

o Michell Cox is the owner of Three Sun Possums which donated again –

o Helen Whait of ActivOT Pty Ltd (Occupation Therapy!) gave for the first time – 

Mitcham over 50’s Exercise Group has been a long-term supporter of B4L. From 1 July 2022, members have  donated $604.80 including $165 raised during the Australia Day picnic. 

And ”in-kind” assistance: 

o Jurlique in Mt Barker provides us with a supply of plastic pallets (required for our books that tranship through the Port of Singapore o Preschem Pty Ltd in Melbourne supplies us with cartons and sticky labels to affix to each box of books

How lucky is Books for Lesotho Inc. to have such great supporters!


On 09 November 2022, 7 pallets (16,748 books) left The Barn for our long-term partner in Lesotho,  Transformation Resource Centre. This, the 16th shipment to TRC, left Port Adelaide on 21 November bound  for Durban via Singapore. The load arrived at TRC in Maseru on 07 March 2023 – another successful shipment! The next shipment of 4 pallets left The Barn for the Rotary Club of Maloti in Maseru just a few days ago!

The total number of books sent to Lesotho is 270,265 

The total direct freight cost has been $113,955 – an amount (plus overhead and other operating costs), totally  donated by YOU. Thank you for your support of this “Nation Building Project”. 

COST INCREASES: The above shipment cost $9,374 (The cost was $8,691 in 2021 and $5,886 in 2020.) 

I received the following email from the Rotary Club of Maloti 

Dear David, 

Thanks a million for this update, very exciting and humbling to note the effort you and your team go into to continue the  support to the education outcomes of the children of Lesotho. 

We have had previous communication with the Ministry of Education regarding this leg of the project, who have  supported our suggestion to deal with schools in the remote Thaba Tseka schools. We shall in the meantime intensify  the logistical arrangements this end to ensure smooth receipt, storage and hand out of the books. Kind Regards 


(We are expecting Maud and 3 other Rotarians to visit Adelaide in late May 2023 – that’s exciting news!) 

Personally, I am pleased with this focus on remote schools, as the first shipments from 2007 were direct to these  very disadvantaged schools. 

Here is the Founder of New Toro Books, Retsepile Sello: “NewToro Books is happily running and we would like to  send you this report so that you see the positive impact you have done.” 

Here are extracts from a report to B4L from NewToro Books: 

Fifty People really like our books from your organization. Only 1 person who complained that our book was boring. Twelve people did not get the books due to inconvenience from our courier. Six people got the books, but they did not finish reading so they did not give the exact responses concerning our books. Fifteen people did not give feedback, they said they were busy until then. To conclude, all we can say is this, your books are very useful to our library, our clients keep on taking them from time to time. 

Here are some of the comments: 

He said he is not a person who can read but through the book we loaned him, he learnt to read and found the book interesting. – SPY HOOK 

She was totally excited as we gave her the book not knowing that Danielle Steel was her favourite author. She learned new geographical locations and new French words and their pronunciations. ’’The book was great’’ She concluded. – THE HOTEL VENDROME 

He learned about a man who was searching for a job and when he got one he was astonished by the way investments are making a lot of money. He confirmed that he now has a new 

perception on making investments. (My note: be careful of any investment that looks like a “quick fix”!) – THE MARKET-MAKER, NO REGRETS 

Stand firm for what you believe in and give it your all fulfilment of your dreams. (This looks like a Readers  Digest Condensed Book!) 

o ELEPHANT – sometimes we must acknowledge that letting something die doesn’t mean you love it less o PIRATES BOOK – the biggest mistake is losing hope when tribulations come but with hope you can see a  way out. 

o ADOPTION BOOK – they give their all for what they wanted, they wanted they were even willing to steal  the baby when it looked break 

She has enjoyed the book and suggested that it can be loaned to peers because it teaches very much. – THE  GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE 

She was very excited to develop a reading culture after so long and she said the book was very good. – STAYING DEAD 

Very wonderful; it says much about youths, it is encouraging book ever. – AND THEN IT HAPPENED ‘’It was my first time to read a novel book so I thought I would struggle luckily, I enjoyed, thank you so much NewToro Books’’. – HIGH WATER She said the book was somehow nice, but she likes (prefers?) motivational books. – SHIP OF GOLD “I am not used to reading but this book has shown me that I have potential” – TRUE PLEASURE

Through the Rotary Club of Maloti, B4L has enabled Mr Mothae Moletsane to establish a library in his remote community. Here is his latest email: 

Hello David and Liz! Nice to hear from you. I am very happy to hear the good news that you have dispatched the next  shipment to Rotary Club of Maloti and that another Box will be for the Library. On behalf of Mpharane Community  Library, we really want to express our gratitude and appreciation for the support and donations we continue to  receive from B4L. 

Thank you for your continuous support. Mothae

And in the same way, B4L is adding to the catalogue offered by NewToro Books: 

I was away for a bit due to illness but I am excited to see that NewToro staff sent you an update (see above). The  library is growing quite significantly, thanks to B4L continued support and books). We now have three graduates (4 if  you count me 🙂 working full time, and 2 part time staff. We currently have 638 readers nationwide and our weekly  deliveries average is 10. 

I am so excited to hear that there are more books coming for us. I am sure our readers will love that too. Best, 


Finally, here’s how one new recipient linked with one of our partners:: 

From: Sibylle Vieux 

Good afternoon, 

I am currently volunteering in an orphanage in Maseru (Margaret Mary Centre), where we would like to help our 40+  children better grow, learn and succeed at school by creating a library. That’s why we are looking for books donation,  mainly in English for them to improve in a nice way. 

Would you be interested by this project? How could we work together? 

Thanks a lot for your answer!

On 28 March 2023 I received this email: 

Good morning David, 

We’ve been to TRC a few weeks ago, we’ve been warmly welcomed and now better understand what they do, and  this is great! 

They already gave us 2 spare boxes of books – which are great, children love the comics and books like “Where is  Charlie?”  

If we find the funds for our project of building a library, we will definitely go back to TRC and Books for Lesotho for  more books and advice! 

Have a nice day, 



I trust the above reports warm your hearts and let you know what good we re all doing in this wonderful country, the “Kingdom in the Sky”. Page 4 shows some of the Kingdom”! 

Thank you to everyone who has recently contributed to the project. 

David Linn 

Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc. 

Newsletter #28, December 2022



On 09 November 2022, 7 pallets (16,748 books) left The Barn for our long-term partner in Lesotho, Transformation Resource Centre. It was the 16th shipment sent to TRC. The shipment left Port Adelaide on 21 November 2022 bound for Durban via Singapore.

This brought the total number of books sent to Lesotho to 260,145

The total direct freight cost has been $108,746 – an amount (plus overhead and other operating costs), totally donated by YOU. Thank you for your support of this “Nation Building Project”

COST INCREASES: The above shipment cost $9,374 (The cost was $8,691 in 2021 and $5,886 in 2020.)

Our budget of $22,939 compares with $16,429 for last year. Donations to date total $5,435.


While books continue to arrive at The Barn for sorting and packing (see next page), we are always seeking supplies – as always, there is a special need for Year 6 to 12, fiction and non-fiction. Please ask your school whether they can assist.


  1. Adam Li – a Year 12 student from St Peters College, Adelaide

Early in 2022, Adam approached us to see if he could conduct a fundraising project to help B4L. Adam says that this was not a compulsory project, rather it was on his own initiative ”to help someone”. Naturally our answer was, “Yes”.  

In due course Adam advised that he had raised $645.89 through the school, and then told us he had donated books too. He had approached a number of libraries plus added some of his own. What an amazing effort and a wonderful result – even while studying Year 12. Thank you, Adam.

2. Immanuel College Senior School

Dr Kylie S Booker, Director of Resource Centre & Innovation, reported: “The books donated to Lesotho came from a number of sources. A number of books were donated through the generous support of both Immanuel Primary and College families. In addition, members of the Holdfast Bay community donated books in response to a community project by two young students whose goal was to raise awareness of Lesotho and your projects. The Immanuel College library also donated a number of books” Right: David and Ray collect the donated books


About 2 months ago we had NO books at The Barn waiting to be sorted. Since that day we have had a steady stream of deliveries – from too many sources to list. However, I must especially thank the school and council libraries that have recently donated books. If you have helped with this, then you can know that you have helped set us up for a great start to 2023


Recently we have enjoyed support from several service clubs (both Lions and Rotary). I have spoken at meetings held by some of the clubs, and these have been most enjoyable occasions. We have received donations of books or dollars, and in most cases, both. This support is crucial to the ongoing success of Books for Lesotho.


During November, B4L held its AGM. 4 directors were due for re-election; they were duly re-elected. After the AGM the Board had its regular meeting at which David Linn was appointed Chairman and Wayne Turner as Treasurer. 


Thank you to everyone who has contributed in whatever way during 2022.

David Linn

Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.

Newsletter #27, September 2022


During August 2022 while packing the 3rd pallet out of 7 pallets making up the 16th shipment for our long-term partner, Transformation Resource Centre, we passed an important marker:

250,000 books packed for Lesotho 

The first shipment (being 3 pallets of books) to our new partners, Rotary Club of Mantsopa (RCoMan) arrived in Maseru on 31 August 2022.

We received the following email in July from our 2nd partner in Lesotho, Rotary Club of Maloti (RCoMal): 

Goodday David,

As we approach the end of the Rotary year, this month being the last, I wish to once again reiterate our appreciation of so much energy and resources expended and with so much dedication you and your sponsors have shown during the previous and current year. It was a great pleasure working with you. From 1 July 2022, there will be a new Director of Foundation that you may work with during the July 2022/June 2023 period. I will finish off with the Clearing Agent to ensure that books enroute reach their destinations accordingly.

By the way, after receiving all the documents that you sent, I was able to successfully negotiate with Lesotho Revenue Authority for exemption of value added tax. That accomplishment will be shared with Mantsopa Rotary Club and others wishing to import donated books.

Best regards..

Bore Motsamai

I have highlighted above in bold what is the most exciting financial news, certainly for our 3 Lesotho partners. For 16 years the Lesotho Revenue Authority (now known as “Revenue Services Lesotho” – RSL) has levied VAT, calculated at 14% of the TOTAL COST of sending books from Adelaide to Maseru. Initially B4L paid this cost, but of recent years the local partners have contributed by paying the VAT and the import agent’s fee. With the huge increase in shipping charges over the last 2 years, the VAT charge was weighing heavily on our partners’ limited funds. There have been many attempts over the years to have VAT waved, but without success. Due to the diligence of Ntate Bore from RCoMal, all 3 partners should now be able to receive shipments without paying the extra cost of VAT. Good news indeed. Thank you Bore.

Our first two boxes are here!!! (Email dated Wed, 17 Aug, 13:06)

Hello David,

Our courier has a small car and wasn’t able to carry all the boxes, (there are 4 boxes) but the first two are here and we are so excited!! He will be bringing the rest next Tuesday.

Please see here some of the photos we took. Behind me is the empty shelf we had prepared for the books, and then you see it after we put them up with my staff in front. The women’s names are Mantsali and Boitumelo and they have been working at NewToro Books since Aug 1st.

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We are getting a new shelf made this week for the books that are coming next week. We have a local carpenter who does a good job at low cost.

We are so grateful and we will keep you posted.


Rets (Retsepile) Sello

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You have just read the report from NewToro Books. It is a Lesotho NGO set up to provide a subscription book lending service to all residents of Lesotho with delivery to the door! Funding for freighting of the 4 boxes of books referred to in Rets’ report was from B4L’s normal budget as they were included in the RCoMal shipment. Funds to provide further support to NewToro were raised by B4L through a special appeal. Surely this story supports the reason B4L exists.    

And the next email from Rets: 

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We have a promotion running on our Facebook to get people who interact with us to win the first chance in reading our new books. We have over 100 people signed up. What we plan to do is send out as many of our new books as possible, and gather some initial feedback; how people are liking them, if they would read similar books again, etc. So we will keep you in the loop as we receive that. But personally, at first glance there are some really good books; my staff members are already reading some of them.

I will be sending you more photos of our big board which I am super excited about, next week. We only finished painting it ourselves today.

And on 24 August 2022:

Hello David,

Our last two boxes have arrived!! Yesterday we delivered 25 of the new books to other districts and 12 in Mokhotlong. We have over 180 orders for the new books and our courier is only able to deliver 25 per week, so for the first time at Newtoro we have a long waiting list thanks to B4L.

Our board/photo frame, which B4L sponsored, is also up. Please see some photos attached.

Thank you, David,


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And David says, “Thank you to all the B4L supporters who helped this happen through the donations of books, the sorting and packing and finally the financing!”

Check out: Turn to: “NewToro promotes a reading culture in Lesotho”

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Thanks to some last-minute $ donations, your donations covered the “normal” expenses for 20221/22, despite the large increase in shipping costs. Thank you to all who helped during the year.

The extra shipment to RCoMan was ultimately financed by the donation from the Lang Foundation; thank you. The image to the right shows the shipment in Maseru on 31 August 2022. What an impressive sight!


The B4L Board has approved a budget of $22,939 compared with $16,429 for last year. The increase is due to increased costs and the inclusion of our new partner, RCoMan. This amount will be a challenge! To date $3,225 has been raised; can you help close the gap?

We pack our books into new cartons/boxes. Images of the cartons appear throughout this newsletter. We save cash through the free supply of the cartons by Preschem Pty Ltd in Melbourne. A year’s supply, 210, arrived at The Barn during August. Thanks Chris and team for this significant on-going in-kind support.


While books continue to arrive at The Barn for sorting and packing, we seek additional supplies – as always, there is a special need for Year 6 to 12, fiction and non-fiction. Please ask your school whether they can assist. Thank you, South Pacific School Aid, for recently coming to our aid with lots of secondary-level books.


Thank you to everyone who has contributed in whatever way.

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David LinnChairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.

Newsletter #26, June 2022


On 15 June 2022, B4L completed the packing of 3 pallets of books destined for a new partner in Lesotho, the Rotary Club of Mantsopa (RCoMan). Recognising that costs incurred at the border between South Africa and Lesotho might be a burden on this fairly new club, the B4L Board determined to add to the support by making a contribution towards these costs, maybe sufficient to cover them all!

The response from the Club? “Good morning David, We really appreciate what B4L is doing, we’re running out of words. Many thanks to B4L and to sponsors. Kind regards, Makhetha

The B4L Board also determined to provide further support to my “new discovery”, NewToro Books. The organisation was started by Retsepile Sello in Mokhotlong in NE Lesotho. It offers a subscription service to everyone in Lesotho.. 4 boxes of books destined for NewToro are on the water now with the shipment to Rotary Club of Maloti (RCoMal). Again ,recognising the costs incurred at the border between South Africa and Lesotho, the B4L Board determined to support NewToro by paying its share of those costs. Rets wrote: “Thank you so much David. My team and I are so grateful and excited and can’t wait to have and share the B4L books. Rets – NewToro Books”.


With the huge increase in costs hitting shipments to Lesotho, the 2021/22 budget has been exceeded by more than $1,500, but your generous donations have B4L almost meeting the expected costs for 2021/22. Thank you. 

The required amount has been achieved with the help of 2 Rotary Clubs, Hyde Park and Blackwood responding to our appeal for support to their fellow clubs in Lesotho. I also recognise the ongoing support with books and $s from St Peters Club. (B4L also receives books from Mitcham Rotary Bookshop.) 

Lions International clubs also have supported B4L; Glenside Club by the ongoing and significant supply of books, and Blackwood Club by way of a significant $ donation. 

There has been another challenge (and this it the “more good news” bit) – to meet the B4L Board’s edict that books could only be sent to a new partner, the Rotary Club of Mantsopa, provided extra funds were raised to cover this cost, now a huge $4,470 for 3 pallets, plus about $800 to cover in-country costs (as described above). These cost shas been covered by another generous donation from the Lang Foundation. 

Thank you to all the above and to the many, many other donors of books and dollars – it all makes up the whole!

BUDGET 2022/23

This is yet to be determined but will likely be about $25,000 compared with $16,429 for 2021/22. It does not look like an easy target. With any surplus from this year and the balance of the Lang Foundation donation, we will be off to a good start towards the target: by 31 December 2022, B4L will have collected, sorted, packed and shipped over 250,000 books for schools, institutions, and community libraries in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

To illustrate the change in costs: in 2007 B4L sent 4 pallets to Lesotho at a cost of $2,847. In April 2022 we sent 4 pallets at a cost of $5,890. Will it be more by December 2022?


As B4L has covered its costs for 2021/22, any donations received on or before 30 June 2022 will be receipted in this tax year but the funds will be used against next year’s costs. 


In June I reported “B4L urgently needs one or two new volunteers to help sort and/or pack books; must be available on a Wednesday morning (not necessarily every week!)”

Glenys Hamer answered the call and has settled in as a valued part of the team. Thanks Glenys, and welcome.

And due a change in his life plans, Callum Andrews is returning to help at The Barn very soon. Welcome back Callum.


Thank you everyone who has contributed in whatever way.

David Linn

Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.

Newsletter #26, March 2022

In the last newsletter I wrote:

“Your donation has never been more important – Books for Lesotho needs over $12,000 before 30th June 2022 to breakeven for the financial year. Will you contribute?” Many of you did respond, and over $7,000 was donated. We are short $3,555 from reaching 2021/22 budget (and the budget does not include any recent rises in freight costs). You can help by donating before 30 June 2022.

I reported it is the sea freight costs (we have previously been amazed at how reasonable they have been) that have escalated by about 55%. The following email arrived from supporter Michele:

“yikes, freight costs have gone up significantly but I was expecting that, so I’m happy to pay for the pallet cost of $1,242 & have transferred the money now. Can you please send me a receipt, thanks. I have an online business (kids sunsmart clothing) which I source from overseas and I feel that increase in freight cost pain too! It’s from the profit of that business which I’ve funded the donations, so if you wanted to give a mention in the newsletter at any time that would be great, but also not necessary if it doesn’t fit. Lightweight cotton clothing to help keep little ones covered from the sun, but still cool & comfortable. You might recognise my children James & Felicity in the photos from when they were small! I’m actually reading a great novel at the moment ‘The Giver of Stars’ about depression era pack horse library in the mountains of Kentucky, and it reminds me every time I pick it up about the value books and reading can bring to a community.”

Michele gave B4L permission to use her words, so I have reproduced it in full, firstly to acknowledge her generosity (for two years running), her motivation, her observation about the value of reading, and finally, a hope that you might find and check out her company website: Thank you, Michele, for your words, and $ donations.

And here is another initiative:

My exercise group at Mitcham has for years supported the B4L project by making small donations weekly which, over a year, has usually funded the shipping of one pallet. Cicely is a member of that group. Each year Cicely has opened her home garden on Australia Day to members of the group and partners for a BYO social event, with entry donations to a charity. You guessed it, Cicely nominated B4L for 2022! COVID rules ruled out using her garden so the group assembled in the Mitcham Memorial Gardens. It was a lovely day in the shade (on an otherwise hot day) and that must have helped with the raising of $78. Thank you, Cicely (pictured, right, with Liz Linn at the event) and the donors.

It pays to advertise: So I’m told, or at least to get your name in the media. You’ve read about this in a previous newsletter; the report of the book donation by the Rotary Club of Maloti to the Mpharane community library (initiated by Ntate Mothae Moletsane). But now I’ve seen it written up with the image on the right in an online news service from Lesotho,

Here is the news item with the linked image to the right:


Also from Lesotho, I read the following in The Reporter


I started up an email interchange with Retsepile (“Rets”) and I discovered more about her and her life and determined that she is an amazing young woman! If you want to learn more about her and her NGO, NewToro Books click here: Her organisation is a subscription library service offered through NewToro Books. It’s purpose closely matches the aims of B4L, so much so that the B4L Board agreed to donate M5,000 to NewToro to allow the service to be expanded. The donation (equivalent to AUD450) was raised in one day through a special appeal launched by the Board.

Upon further interaction, B4L determined that perhaps 4 boxes of books would help NewToro Books grow. The 4 boxes packed totalled 335 books, a significant adding to the current stock. WOW. The boxes have been added to the shipment to the Rotary Club of Maloti which will leave B4L during April 2022. To add to the story, we understand that RCoMa and NewToro have formed a relationship to work together – a multiplication effect after my reading of NewToro Books online!

The Rotary Club of Maloti is an enterprising club! What I have observed includes partnering with B4L and distributing books, (next page) assisting with the delivery of donated books to the Morija Seminary, supporting the new library at Mpharane (see page 1), considering working with NewToro Books (at least to facilitate the book delivery, as above), and sponsoring the start-up of the Rotary Club of Montsopa (see later). We can learn a lot more about where B4L books have gone from this, off its Facebook page (my editing):

“This a short coverage of handover (by RCoMa) of Books to the school at Sisters of the Good Shepherd Centre (4 boxes for primary 1-3, 7 boxes for primary 4–5, 6 boxes for primary 6-7) and ANTS pre-school (3 boxes).”

And a big surprise to me – a new Rotary Club in Lesotho

The morning after I discovered NewToro Books on Facebook, an email lobbed in the B4L Inbox:

“Greetings from Lesotho David,
The Rotary Club of Mantsopa was chartered on 15 June 2021, making it the third Rotary Club in Lesotho. The average age for our members is 35. Our Club comprises more of young adults compared to the other two clubs. Our meetings are held at Victoria Hotel on Thursdays, 17:30- 18:30.
Can I kindly ask what is required to be a partner with books for Lesotho organization?
Best regards,
Makhetha Motsoari
Mantsopa Rotary Club- 

What can one do but ask for more details! And then:

Hello David,
Thank you for the swift response.

I’m aware that you are already partnering with The Rotary Club of Maloti and TRC. The Club of Mantsopa Rotary Club is aiming to distribute books to at least 3 Primary Schools, 3 High Schools and 1 community library each year. Please note that I have included Mr. Lemphane in this mail; he is Mantsopa Rotary Club- Secretary. Thank you.
Kind regards,


What can one do after that? Check we have a supply of books: Yes! Check volunteers agree that we can pack 4 more pallets (10,000 books) in a year – Yes! (Bless them) Check what the B4L Board thinks – Yes! they agree (bless them, too). But, subject to raising extra funds to cover the costs (the Board is very pragmatic!), about $6,250 (at March’s freight rate). B4L is now seeking the donations to allow a 3rd (or is it 4th) partner to receive books to give to worthy school, institutions and communities to establish or expand their library.

If the funding is available, Books for Lesotho Inc. will, before 31 December 2022, have collected, sorted, packed and shipped over 250,000 books for schools, institutions, and community libraries in the Kingdom of Lesotho, a feat in which book donations from Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, municipal and school libraries, community groups and private individuals have all played a part. Financial support has come from many of the same service clubs, Lang Foundation, community groups and individuals. All together you have played a significant role, whatever the size and type of your donation.

And I must not forget those who give In-Kind. A BIG THANK YOU TO:

Jurlique at Mount Barker, SA – for sending B4L the 2022-23 supply of plastic pallets (which must be used for any freight passing through the Port of Singapore) – it seems to be an annual ritual which is both convenient for B4L and also cost saving (and perhaps saves the pallets otherwise going to waste!).

Preschem of Melbourne Vic – for sending B4L the 2022-23 supply of cartons – it seems to be another annual ritual which is both convenient for B4L and also cost saving. Preschem also donates the labels for the cartons.


NewToro Books seems to have a new book promotion on Facebook every day – to the left is one of them.

On Wednesday, 30 March, we completed packing the 4th and last pallet for this shipment, destined for Rotary Club of Maloti. It included 4 boxes of books for NewToro Books – is this a new era for the subscription borrowing service!

POSITION VACANT: B4L urgently needs one or two new volunteers to help sort and/or pack books; must be available on a Wednesday morning (not necessarily every week!) Please make contact

Thank you everyone who has contributed in whatever way.


David Linn
Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.

Newsletter #24, December 2021

Happy New Year from Books for Lesotho!

Your donation has never been more important – Books for Lesotho needs over $12,000 before 30th June 2022 to breakeven for the financial year. Will you contribute …???

Donations from 01 July to 31 December 2021 totalled $4,555 ($8,479 last year) – budget $17,183 ($14,208 last year). Freight costs have recently risen by 55% – this is our main expense. Shortfall this time last year was $5,729 – this year it is $12,623

Is it worth supporting Books for Lesotho? The words from Lesotho reported below speak for the cause. Your financial support will enable the project to continue – ways of giving are on the website.

Words from Rotary Club of Maloti, Lesotho, Friday 01 October 2021:
Goodday David,
You and other Aussies dedication to this project is, indeed, amazing. Out of this world. On behalf of the Rotary Club of Maloti and all the recipients of these most valuable books, let me express our profound gratitude. When we were at Morija Theology Seminary for delivery of books, the Rector of the Seminary said that the books were the most valuable they had ever had. He said the whole shelf was good enough for a fully fleshed library on its own. I have just shared copy of the newsletter with members of our Club.

Best regards.
Bore Motsamai
Director, Foundation Committee

Ntate Matsobane, who originally requested the special project for theology books (which was separately funded to the books for schools), wrote: 

Hi David. They (the trainees in the seminary) were very excited, especially that some of them are studying for their PHD’s and they found a lot of useful literature. Thank you a lot.

A WhatsAPP message arrived from Ntate Mothae Moletsane on 15 October 2021: 

“Loading boxes from Rotary Club storage (then heading) to Moharane Community Library today”

A donation of books from Liesel Kippen:

As I report regularly in the newsletters, B4L receives books from many sources with deliveries arriving by various means, and often several each week. We try to acknowledge these donations directly, and the $ donations too. In this newsletter we acknowledge only a few. I mention this one now in recognition of Liesel’s donation as representative of the many smaller donations that add up to the thousands of books we send. As Liesel wrote, “When kind acts are acknowledged, however small, it encourages us to do more and more.” Books for Lesotho Inc. thanks all the donors – we end the year with The Barn bulging with books to be sorted, books to be packed, and as reported elsewhere 7 pallets ready to send to TRC in Lesotho.

Post on Facebook 27 October 2021 from our in-country partner, TRC:

“Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) is still on a mission to encourage students to develop a reading culture. This week the information department is out to defeat the odds and deliver books to schools as opposed to what used to be the norm. In the previous years the Centre used to host schools at its premises to facilitate the donation but due to COVID-19 this has not been the case. Needless to point out the fact that this has immensely affected pupils academically, psychologically and financially. The Centre hopes to restore a bit of normalcy by delivering these boxes to schools still with the aim of providing sufficient material to establish school libraries and the upkeep of a reading culture more so in these uncertain times.

B4L is pleased to see these books which were packed during 2020 and despatched to Lesotho in February 2021, have now been distributed to the recipient schools, despite interruptions in Australia, South Africa and Lesotho due to COVID-19. Well done staff at TRC! All our volunteers and donors (books and $s) are thrilled!

Once Upon a Festival:

Immanuel College held its first Once Upon a Festival this year. On 10th November, Dr Kylie Booker, Director of Resources and Innovation, sent the following email:

“The books you picked up today were generously donated by students who attended Once Upon a Festival, a school-based literary festival that was hosted at the Immanuel Campus on the 28th and 29th of October for students in all sectors of Primary and Secondary education. Quite a number of books were also donated by Immanuel Primary School as well as the Immanuel College Library.

Once Upon a Festival was a success despite some inclement weather as well as COVID-19 impacting on our ability to bring interstate-based authors to the Festival to appear in person, as we had originally planned. The interstate-based authors appeared via Zoom and the sessions were just as well received as were those presented by local South Australian authors and illustrators, culminating in some terrific feedback from many schools and students who participated.

We hope to be able to deliver another Festival in the future.”

Our Humble Waste Bin….. is essential for the recycling of the hundreds of cartons we receive each year, as well as the small quantity of books unsuitable to send. Through Peter from Cleanaway Waste Management Limited B4L has a shiny new bin and an amazing contract rate for taking our “waste”. Thank you Cleanaway for your support of B4L. Your charge-rate will help our budget!! Thank you everyone who has contributed in whatever way.

David Linn

Chairman, Books for Lesotho Inc.