Namanya Memorial Center

The Problem

Books are hard to come by in Uganda.  Most parents will never buy a book for their children because they say “you can’t eat a book”, and it’s true.  

Even the books used in schools are owned by the teachers and the children don’t have access to them outside of the classroom.  It is hard to become a good reader and a confident student when you can’t get ahold of reading material and practice those important skills.

The Solution

The Namanya Memorial Center Library (NMCL) creates a brighter future for Ugandan children by providing books and opportunities they need to make learning interesting and accessible.

How NMCL Came to Be

In 2020, Namanya Hilary and his wife Winifred Blessing Barbra died in a car accident.  In their grief, Namanya’s family was determined the couple’s heart for others and love of education would live on.  Namanya’s mother, a retired teacher, took in their children and set about teaching the boys, Jethro and Jesse, to read.  

As Namanya’s brother, Collins, reflected on the dreams he and his brother shared, he was struck by the lack of books for children in Uganda.  Collins was a teenager before he held a book for the first time.  He decided to build a library to open the doors of lifelong love of learning for Jethro, Jesse, and other Ugandan children.  Generous donors made it possible to open the Namanya Memorial Community Library in July 2022.  

What’s Happening Now

The library opened with 1,200 books and served 4,000 children in its first two months.  The computers and copies of the text books used in local schools are helping the children catch up and get ahead at school.  More than 23,000 additional books given by people in the Rochester, NY area will soon fill the library.

Collins and generous friends in the United States and Uganda, are raising money to fund library operations for the days, months, and years to come.  

  • $1,100 will cover all of the library’s expenses for a month.  
  • $520 will pay the salaries of two librarians and a security for the library for a month.  
  • A gift of $85 will keep the lights on at the library, or $50 will provide air time for the library’s telephone.  
  • Your one-time or monthly gift of any amount brightens the future of Uganda’s youth.

What’s Next

We’ve seen that students arrive to spend the day at the library and lose focus after lunch.  Being able to provide a snack or lunch would help extend the learning that occurs.  

Additionally, NMCL has since purchased a plot of land near the library with the goal of building a skills learning center on it for older youth.  Thanks to friends like you, this has been an incredible journey and we can’t wait to see what comes next.  Won’t you join us?