KwaZulu-Natal Library for Literacy

Tshaneni Primary School, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

In 2020, we visited the Tshaneni PrimarySchool in a remote rural village in KwaZulu Natal. The school serves approximately 260 elementary aged kids. The school is very under-resourced (pit latrines, lack of running water) and did not have a library or books. We were  determined to make this school the site of our next library.

In 2022, we established our second library at the Tshaneni Primary School. In addition to collecting, cataloguing and transporting over 3,000 early reader books from NYC, we partnered with Room to Read Africa to provide 100 Zulu children’s books. Since the school did not have a physical space for the library, we partnered with Breadline Africa to provide a repurposed shipping container to house the school library.

We collected and transported over 3,000 children’s books for the library, and partnered with Room to Read Africa to provide Zulu language early reader books.

We also partnered with a local hotel to provide backpacks for the kids to take books home in. Tshaneni Primary School’s librarian cataloged all the books and keeps careful records of books checked out, an essential success metric. While the first books checked out were almost always Zulu children’s books, subsequent books were often in English.