Kate Parry writes:
The Uganda Community Libraries Association (UgCLA) held its sixth annual conference from January 17 to January 19 this year. As usual, the conference was hosted by one of the Association's member libraries, that of Uganda Development Services (UDS) in the eastern town of Kamuli. More than 40 people attended, including representatives of 21 libraries. The conference was officially opened by the Kamuli District Inspector of Schools, Thomas Kabhariza.
The theme of the conference was "Projects for Sustainability," and the keynote speaker was Carolyne Kirabo of Yunus Social Business (YSB). YSB has been supporting five UgCLA member libraries (Bwera Information Centre, Kawempe Youth Centre, Kitengesa Community Library, Nambi Sseppuuya Community Resource Centre, and UDS), to develop projects and (it is hoped) to find funding for them, and Carolyne has been the libraries' mentor, showing them how to draw up a business plans develop a pitch, etc. Now she gave more generalized advice, while the Kitengesa and Nambi Sseppuuya librarians described their specific projects, which are, respectively, to build a guest house for foreign volunteers and researchers and to provide low-cost accommodation for Ugandan government workers.
In addition, a representative from Rising Seeds Uganda, Ltd.talked about how to grow, and market, yellow maize, interns from Douglas College in British Columbia (who are placed in four of UgCLA's member libraries) told everyone about their projects, and the libraries that participated in UgCLA'a EIFL-funded Health Camps in 2015 presented updates on how the Youth Leadership Groups developed from the Health Camps are doing (they are doing well, having founded Health Clubs in many different schools and carrying out their own activities, like growing nutritious crops and continuing to work with the libraries' computers).
The conference participants also spent a good deal of time brainstorming sustainability projects for their own libraries, and the main point to emerge from UGCLA' Annual General Meeting, held at the end of the conference, was that UgCLA itself should do the same--especially with the capital now amassed from members' subscriptions. So UgCLA is doing precisely that. Keep posted!
Enoch Magala explains the
work of the Campaign for Youth-Driven Development Initiatives Library.
All the libraries that
were represented sent posters describing their work. The posters were
put up for everyone to see.