Tuesday 11th May – To Gwanda

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A drive out of town today to visit the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library and other institutions in Gwanda that benefit from support via the Bulawayo Committee. The library is funded through the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust and well-stocked with plenty of well-used, and well-organised BAI books. It is a real community library with storytelling (the kids enjoyed a reading of Handa’s surprise), a long-standing book box scheme for 26 schools and a ‘study circle’ programme which provides information to groups to support activities such a vegetable gardening and nutrition.

Afterwards, I visit Gwanda Hospital where there is a multidisciplinary school for nurses, midwives and other medics. The library is full of mainly outdated books with a few from BAI. I talk to some students and few seem to use the library though seven are members of the memorial library. At present, the hospital has no qualified doctors making the copy of Where there is no doctor very apt, but when sending this book it was not expected that there would be no doctor in a hospital!

Last stop in Gwanda is the Joshua Nkomo Polytechnic. The library is an extraordinary building part spider, part space ship, and perfectly designed for the local baboons who break in from time to time. Like many of the higher education institutions here, the book stock is mainly from BAI.

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