Moving premises!

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

out of 129into the barn

Newsletter #7, January 2017

READING, “THE NEW CIVIL RIGHT”

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

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

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

HOW HAS THIS BEEN ACHIEVED?

With the help of many people and organisations.

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

bundoora

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

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

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

logos-compiled

LESOTHO CHILD COUNSELLING UNIT

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

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

lesotho-child-councilling-unit

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

YOUR DONATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

The Books for Lesotho Board

Stop Press

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

Raelene & Jeff

realene and jeff

“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.”

St. Angela Cheshire Home for Disabled Children

1 st angela's 2

“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.