Zimbabweans living in New Zealand operating under the auspices of Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust are mobilizing reading material for disadvantaged schools back home.
The project run by Zimbabwean-trained librarian, Driden Kunaka, has been embraced by local people, including two twin sisters of Indian descent Shefali and Shivani Sinha, their mother, Kunaka’s daughter Ropafadzo and their friend Ella Clausen.
The girls, who are being inspired by education for girls advocate and Nobel Peace Prize winner Yousoff Malala of Pakistan, have so far raised $500 United States dollars for purchasing library books in Zimbabwe for local school.
On the other hand, Kunaka has been playing a key role in sourcing books that will soon be shipped to Zimbabwe by his organization which is registered in Zimbabwe and New Zealand.
“It’s a long-term project that is designed to enable children in rural areas to access reading material with also an objective of building rural libraries in Zimbabwe.”
He said they are planning to set up the Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust in other countries in order to enable people to source books for schools in their localities.
“The aim is to mobilize resources to send to Zimbabwe and let them enjoy some library facilities. We believe that reading develops the child’s intellect, reading enhances their performance at school, reading opens their eyes to the outside world … So, we believe children need access to information.”
He noted that a container full of reading material will soon leave New Zealand for Zimbabwe.
Kunaka said many local people are helping in raising funds and sourcing books for less privileged Zimbabweans.
“Some children like Indian twins Shefali and Shivani Sinha, their mother Andinita Dey Sinha, and my daughter Ropafadzo and their friend Ella Clausen are helping a lot in raising funds and sourcing the books.”