Treasure Houses of Diamonds in Sierra Leone

Article Date: 14/07/2010 03:55:36

We want to say a very big thank you to all who played a part in this venture, and ask for continued prayers that the books will bear much spiritual fruit in the lives of all those who read them.

School Library Project Update

by Petra Nemansky & Liz Patten, Project Coordinators CLC UK

Petra Nemansky - Boxes
Cathedral Boys and Cathedral Girls
Girl at the launch
Masiaka
Murraydeen
We are very happy to report that at the beginning of this year, around 15,000 Christian books and Bibles were successfully shipped to Freetown by Book Aid, and have now been distributed to 53 schools and two public libraries in the areas of Freetown and Bo, where CLC has bookshops. This was the result of many donations from the UK Christian public combined with the generous support of publishers Christian Focus, Hodder & Stoughton and Chapter Two. On 1st March 2009, along with the slogan “Give a Book, Give a Future”, we had launched a goal of a minimum of 10,000 Christian books for school libraries in Sierra Lone within a year. Praise God for His help and blessing which enabled that target to be exceeded!

When the books arrived in Sierra Leone, our faith in God’s timing was put to the test as the customs clearance procedure dragged on! Finally the books were released on 14th April, which kept members of our local team busy packing boxes into our HQ building at Circular Road, until 10.30pm! That was just in time for our own arrival at midnight, and for the grand Project Launch which had been scheduled to take place in Freetown Central Municipal Library at 10.30am the following morning! Everything went smoothly. Mrs Alice Kamara, chairing the Launch, urged her listeners, “Do not forget this programme, as it will take you beyond this morning”. She emphasized the importance of not neglecting children, following the example of Jesus. Continuing the theme of a tourist video she had seen on her arrival journey, Petra Nemansky (Project Organiser), compared books to one of Sierra Leone’s greatest resources and urged everyone to see libraries as a “treasure house of diamonds”.  Alfred Kaikai, CLC Sierra Leone, said that it would be appropriate to be looking for the fruits of the Project in years to come. The Launch was timely, coinciding with the World Book and Copyright Day scheduled for the following week and it received extensive media coverage, via television, radio and newspaper. It also fitted in very well with a new government emphasis on education.

In the days that followed, we were privileged to be able to visit a number of schools and take part in the distribution. This involved not only presenting the books, but also getting to know some of the staff and seeking to encourage them and the children. One school, in the rural area of Masiaka, gave a round of applause in appreciation of the UK church that had sponsored their book pack! At another school, Murraydeen, some teachers and pupils came in especially to meet with us, even though it was holiday time! And at Cathedral Girls’ School, there was a special time of singing and a reminder that God answers prayer, in that He had faithfully made the project a success by bringing the books to their school as had been promised!

We want to say a very big thank you to all who played a part in this venture, and ask for continued prayers that the books will bear much spiritual fruit in the lives of all those who read them. Of course, this and this alone will be the true measure of the Project’s success. At the time of writing, the OM ship LOGOS HOPE is visiting Freetown. Partnership between CLC and OM means that teams from the ship are visiting the schools where we have distributed the books, and that school teachers and librarians are being invited on board the ship for a special training seminar. From the beginning, this Project was about partnership – between CLC Sierra Leone and CLC UK; between CLC and the UK Christian public; between CLC and publishers; between CLC and Book Aid. Thank God that, between us, we have been able to “seize the day” of this tremendous opportunity in what is currently a 60% Moslem land.

Keywords: Sierra Leone, School Library Project

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