By Oliver, 13, and reporters, Jill Dando News @ WCSA and PCSA
Jill Dando News is sending books to Malawi in Africa to help set-up a library there thanks to help from North Somerset Council’s library service.
Reporters from Jill Dando News at Worle Community School Academy (WCSA) and Priory Community School Academy (PCSA) visited the library at The Campus in Worle, Weston-super-Mare.
They witnessed dozens of books being given to Sarah O’Gorman, who teaches English (PCSA) in Weston-super-Mare as well as running Jill Dando News there.
Sarah, who launched Sunrise Nursery in the suburbs of the town of Mzimba in Malawi, is building up a library there.
In 2019, she set up a Jill Dando News Centre at the African school. Sarah also runs the Priory base, part of a network of Jill Dando Centres across The Priory Learning Trust in Somerset.
The need has been so great as there is no public library in the area of Malawi, so no books for children. It is hoped that other library services will also follow suit.
Last year Sarah started a campaign called ‘Send a book’ to encourage people in North Somerset to donate books for primary school age children to Malawi.
Sarah said: “We are so grateful to North Somerset Council’s library service. This is a lifeline for so many children over there. There is no access to books for local primary-aged children, no access to education or resources.”
Pupils from Castle Batch Primary School Academy have already donated books, also part of TPLT which also has a Jill Dando News Centre.
Their stories are posted to the newspaper the Good News Post www.goodnewspost.co.uk and to the wider Media and Social Media.
The Malawi project was funded by Dr Ron McKechnie in 2013 and his charity, One Parish Link.
Limbikira Foundation will be running the nursery and has employed two local teachers.
Cllr Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s executive member whose portfolio includes libraries, said: “I’m delighted that our library service was able to find and donate some books which were surplus free literacy resources no longer needed for programmes in North Somerset.
“It’s great to think that these books will be useful to children and young people in Malawi. Good luck to the team at Jill Dando News with all the fantastic work that they’re doing.”
Jill Dando Journalists aged 8 to 18 find and write stories for the Good News Post www.GoodNewsPost.co.uk newspaper and wider Media in their school Jill Dando News Centre.
Reporters are trained by professional journalists such as Jill’s older brother Nigel, Fiona Bruce and others to be reporters in the style of Jill – kind, positive, humble, and with a mindset of ‘all things are possible’.
Since then thousands of students have been told the inspirational story of Jill Dando, who was murdered in 1999.
On 26th April next year it will be the 25th anniversary of her death. In her memory reporters as young as 9 have quizzed Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street in 2019 and have written hundreds of stories.
The newspaper has a wide variety of partners across education, business, charities, and the Media. They include Britain’s biggest magazine for entrepreneurs and business leaders, Business Leader www.businessleader.co.uk, The Priory Learning Trust.
It also has many professionals helping out in education, the news, editors, journalists, CEOs, and mental health.
North Somerset Council’s library service runs the network of public libraries across the area, including Weston library at the Town Hall and the Mobile Library.
For more information, visit: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/libraries.