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.  Before long over 23,000 donated books arrived from the greater Rochester area.  Now children in Wakiso, Uganda have easy access to reading material.  Not only is the library providing extra help with schoolwork, it offers fun, educational activities for students, and is a gathering place for the entire community!

What’s Happening Now

Today, Namanya Memorial Community library contains thousands of books to interest people of all ages.  The library also offers computers and copies of the textbooks used in local schools. When children whose families couldn’t afford their school fees began using the library regularly, NMCL’s sponsorship program was born.  Today, generous donors make it possible for twelve children to attend school.  Fun activities like board game tournaments and spelling bees help children catch up and get ahead at school. Library Director, Amy, tells us that on an average school day, the library serves 30 people, and even more on holidays and over school breaks. 

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.  

  • Your gift of $25 could provide a child with the first book they ever read without assistance
  • Your gift of $50 could provide the one-on-one help a child needs to catch up on missed schoolwork
  • Your gift of $100 could provide fun learning activities for a group of children
  • Your one-time or monthly gift of any amount brightens the future of Uganda’s youth.

What’s Next

The library is making an incredible difference for the whole community.  NMCL exists thanks to generous donors and dedicated volunteers.  Next, NMCL is working to add opportunities for older youth.  Construction has begun on a trade school.  The goal of the trade school is to give young adults the skills they need to transition into paid employment. Will you help us continue this remarkable journey?

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