Non-profit organisation Nomkhubulwane Development Projects in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape is on a quest to uplift the community through skills development and education. The organisation wants to build a library for learners from rural schools in the area.

The Novula Kuvaliwe library will offer basic literature, digital services and career guidance to learners.

The community library is the idea of aspirant authors, Unathi Magubeni and Zanele Ndlovu, who are both passionate about literature. The incomplete structure based at Gwexintaba village, near Lusikisiki, is set to be a fully-fledged library to cater for children from Grade R to Grade 12.

Magubeni says the library seeks to promote the culture of reading among learners. It will also assist them to acquire skills that will enable them to adapt in a fast paced digital world.

“We saw an obvious need around issues of education and skills development. The Novula Kuvaliwe is the response from us to these challenges. The library is more than just an ordinary library; we focus on other areas like computer literacy and skills development. The flagship programme of the library is the homework support programme where we collaborate with the primary school next to us; organise the kids to do homework and put them into groups and select one student who understands the content better than the others.”

Co-founder and author of a children’s book, Umakhweyana, Zanele Ndlovu says they also want to encourage the culture of reading among learners through story-telling.

“Telling stories has been our oral tradition, that’s how we used to learn even as Africans because each and every story has a lesson. This is part of edutainment because you are teaching them but you are entertaining them at the very same time. I teach them indigenous instruments. I play Umakhweyana, that’s the name of the instrument which is about the story that I was telling them about. We are planning on bringing Marimbas. We already have them so we need to transport them to the library.”

However, Magubeni says accessing this library is a big challenge.

“We have a challenge where we are; villages are not close to each other. The next village from us is probably 8km away and we would like those kids from the different areas to be able to access the library and make it easy for them by having transportation. Currently, we are looking for sponsors who can assist us in getting a minibus so that we can reach other villages so that they can come here and learn and be inspired.”

The founders of the Novula Kuvaliwe library have called on any Good Samaritan to come forward and assist in making the dream of Gwexintaba and surrounding villages a reality.