Opulence Malawi to implement Community Library project in Dowa

By Vincent Gunde

A non-profit NGO with a focus on mobilizing communities towards sustainable and resilient development, Opulence Malawi, will implement Enhancing Education through Community Library project to improve the reading culture among the in-and-out-of-school children, youth and adults of Dowa district.

The project will target school governance bodies, community level, faith leaders, and chiefs under Traditional Authority Chakhaza covering Madisi and Chinkhwiri school zones to improve learner performance, and increasing literacy levels among the community members in the areas of impact.

Okhifi Dimba-.the project will construct multi- purpose community libraries.

According MANEB survey of 2023, the district experienced a low pass rate of 80.33 percent in the 2023 Primary School Leaving Certificate of Educations (PSLCE) results, literacy rate at 66 percent and electrification at 4.04 percent.

Opulence Malawi’s Programs Officer Okhifi Dimba, said by design, primary, secondary and tertiary schools must have a library and each learner should have a text book, but with the growing population, this has not been the case.

Dimba said lack of access to books through the libraries lowers literacy rates and ICT knowledge, this is escalated by low electrification rates in the country saying on average the schools’ learner to book ratio is 1;10 which is relatively high and in the long run this poses a threat on the quality of education.

He said the project will use participatory approach to engaging community stakeholders at all levels of planning, enhancing full participation and ownership and intensify parental and guardian participation in education and management of the Community Library in the district, among other interventions strategies.

The officer said the project will ensure that the communities make revenue from the library services which will be used for renovations and proper management of the infrastructure and full stocked with reading materials of both academic and non-academic.

“There will be diversification of activities conducted at the Community Library such as meetings for Village Savings and Loans groups, community dialogues and interacting sessions, among others,” said Dimba.
He said the project is expected to improve literacy levels among youth and adults, performance among students in Primary School Leaving Certificate of Educations and Junior Certificate of Educations and an institutionalized reading culture among community members.

Opulence Malawi will implement Enhancing Education through community library in Dowa district amounting to K250 million with funding from Donor Community Development and Church of Resurrection.