By Jill Dando News
English teacher Sarah O’Gorman from Priory Community School Academy in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset is helping to build a library in Mzimba, northern Malawi.
She has raised over £5,000 in only two weeks towards her £6000 target after the incredible generosity of supporters.
It is hoped that the library can become a base for Jill Dando News which was launched their by Sarah five years ago.
She said: “I am overwhelmed by how generous people have been to help with this amazing project.”
Sarah got to know the Mzimba community after volunteering as a Skilled Specialist on an HIV/AIDS programme there in 2012.
She fell in love with the place and people and has returned multiple times to establish a non-government organisation ‘Limbikira Foundation’ (LIFO) out there.
Working with local volunteers, the charity – whose name means ‘we work together’ – has helped to build and support 3 nursery schools.
Sunrise Nursery launched
In October 2022 Sarah visited to launch Sunrise Nursery which was funded by One Parish Link.
Several of The Priory learning Trust schools supported her in sending books – in particular, Castle Batch Primary School Academy who donated all their previous KS1 phonics books and featured on a BBC news story about the nursery and library.
Since then, Sarah has been campaigning to ‘send a book; start a library’, encouraging UK supporters to send over books to supply much needed learning and reading materials.
Having received a generous donation to buy land in Mzimba, LIFO is now fundraising to construct a library building (phase one) to improve literacy in the local area.
Later, two training rooms with toilets (phase 2 and 3) will be added to provide skills based learning which will also help make the whole project sustainable. Sarah added: “Not once had I seen children reading because there simply are no books available. The joy and education which literature can bring is something which, as an English teacher, I wanted to try and instigate in a community who reached out and said that that was a serious need.
“Thank you to all our supporters – we’re pleased to finally get closer to realising this dream of building Mzimba’s first library!”
If you can help LIFO and Sarah to reach their 100% mark or would like to send a book to support, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/build-a-library-mw