What a Journey?...
After providing some ‘O@Level and @A@Level books for Old Kampala Senior Secondary School, we turned our attention to filling the empty library with books on all subjects which would benefit students from all classes in the School.
"It all began in 2015 (see Dinesh Dattani’s blog of March 2019)...."with an unexpected call from Books Abroad, a registered charity based in Scotland, offering to send a container of school textbooks and reference books to our library at the Old Kampala Senior Secondary School.
Dinesh Dattani, our trustee in Canada, helps set the ball rolling with a visit to Books Abroad in 2016.
Over the next 3 years and more than 2000 man-hours later, the project came to fruition.
Books Abroad staff spent countless hours carefully selecting and sorting appropriate books, packing them in boxes, and building a mountain of pallets.
Meanwhile, the OKASFund trustees began liaising with various schools in Uganda and visiting the Books Abroad center in Scotland to work out the kinks that inevitably accompany such a major undertaking.
Finally, in November 2018 a container loaded with 25,000 books began its journey by ship from Scotland to Mombasa and then onward by rail to Kampala. Despite multiple hurdles along the way, including mix-up of containers, missed connections, and challenges at the customs, the books were finally delivered at the end of February 2019.
To receive them were OKASFund trustees, Arun Patel and Mayoor Patel, who had specially flown over to ensure seamless distribution of the books to the various schools.
Also relieved was Mrs. Sandrah Mlay, a teacher at the Old Kampala Senior Secondary School and our local liaison for the project, as Amar Thakrar, our Uganda-based trustee arrived with the truckload of books which was jubilantly received by the students and staff of Old Kampala Senior Secondary School.
The books arrive in Uganda….
Thanks to our Uganda trustee Amar Thakrar who coordinated the release of the books from customs to the delivery to Old Kampala Senior Secondary School.
Thanks also to Sandra Mlay a teacher at Old Kampala Secondary School who coordinated the delivery of the library books.
The lorry with the pallets of books arrived at the amazement of the staff and students….
Mayoor, Arun and Amar overseeing the operation. The boxes have arrived, now begins the hard task of unpacking, moving and shelving
All eyes are on the box when Mayoor is opening the first box.
All smiles as the books are revealed
Then to the enormous excitement of the teachers and the students Mayoor handed out some books for proof….
Some teachers and students started reading the books and were so engrossed that they did not want to put them back in the box for cataloguing!
.Then there was euphoric applause, dancing and chanting.
Excitement translated into dance
Okasfund is Appreciated
The headmaster (right) and the chair of the board of governors Mr G S Muwanga (left) presented OKAS Fund trustees with a certificate of appreciation.
The headmaster (right) and the chair of the board of governors (left) also presented OKAS Fund trustees with a token of appreciation.
Mr. Mulomi James, the Headteacher of OKSSS, is all smiles as he delivers his speech, thanking OKAS Fund for its efforts
Arun and Amar swamped by some of the students, wanting to know more
After the assembly and celebrations all the boxes (some 300 in total) had to carried to the library , 4 stories up!
4 of the 10 pallets ready to go to the library….
Students carrying the boxes each weighing 18 to 22 kilos on average to the main library four stories up!
Cataloguing of the books begins
The books were stamped for the library.
Followed by each box being logged onto Excel spread sheets to keep a record of books received. Or what is known as stock control
Then preparation of input sheets by the students with computer skills selected for uploading the data on the books onto the library computer before a single book can be let out!
Input sheets being prepared by the students.
OKAS Fund Donates Thousands of Books to Old Kampala Senior Secondary School
Mayoor at the OK SSS library in the section with the new book shelves specially built for the books delivered on this trip.
For the first time in the history of the school it has well over thirteen thousand books in the library.
Over 13 ,000 books on shelves……..
As mentioned, we had more books to donate.
These were distributed among schools:
Kololo Secondary School, Kampala, received about 3500 books
Soroti Primary School
About 300 kilometers north-east of Kampala, got a valuable collection of reading material. This will surely enhance the reading experiences of 650 students, and was made possible by Arun’s contact Mr. Satish Sachdev.
The children at Soroti Primary engrossed in the books
Mengo Primary School got five boxes of children’s’ books, as well as four boxes of teachers’ resources.
This school is situated only a short distance from Old Kampala SSS and is one of the ‘feeder’ schools for OKSSS, that is, some its students end up in OKSSS for higher studies.
Children at Mengo primary school delighted with their new books
Sadhguru Primary School, in W Uganda, got 2000 books.
Here is the lovely message and pictures they sent with the children enjoying the new books
We cannot describe the excitement we felt when we opened the 30 cartons containing the generously donated 2,000 books that you resourced for Sadhguru School.
It felt like Christmas on super scale. What was even more remarkable however, was the thought that you carefully put into selecting these books.
Thank you once again for all your love and support.
Bliss and Jane
Ndejje Senior Secondary School near Kampala received over 1000 books.
Ndejje Senior Secondary School students delighted with their new books
Other Schools that got books included
- St Michaels School for girls in Busambatia received about 1400 books
- Seeds of hope Orphanage Organisation’s school in Kigezi received about 750 books
Many of you will recall the late Mr. Naik, who was Deputy Headmaster of OKSSS in the late 1960’s .
Mr. Naik wrote a book about Mahatma Gandhi, ‘In the shadows of the Mahatma’.
Our trustee Jit Davda was able to get three copies from him before Mr Naik passed away, for the school library.
We do hope this non-fiction work will supplement the school library with a bit of history and reminiscence of times gone by.
Arun presenting "In the shadows of the Mahatma", to the Headteacher Mr. Mulomi James outside the HM office
This brings us to another point: are there any other school alumni who have written a book? It might be a good idea to donate a copy to our school.
The topic need not be of direct relevance to the school curriculum; all we are trying to do is inspire the current crop of students to think about writing books themselves, knowing their predecessors were able to do so.
A BIG THANK YOU TO OKASFUND AND BOOKS ABROAD
FROM THE HEADMASTER Mr MULOMI JAMES
Thank you to OkasFund
Thank you to books abroad
Finally, a poem from Rachael Nantaba one of the students acknowledging OKAS Fund.
It is heart-warming to see our efforts are not in vain:
Rachael Nantaba our resident poet
Her heart-warming poem
Thank you for you time.
You can change a child's life with a book click below to donate
This is indeed a noble thing to do to help students broaden their vision, improve their ideas and encourage them to achieve their goals in life. My best wishes for the students of the Old Kampala School.
Great work. Please continue.
I studied at old Kampala secondary school from 1961 to 1965 and have fond memories of my time there.
Fantastic project! Quite an achievement getting that many books half-way round the world, through customs and on to a variety of schools. The book shelves look good and the stock control process well advanced! I will try to introduce some of those ideas to the next book feeding project in Kenya.
Such a tremendous work by OKAS fund in the field of education.
A tremendous achievement by OKAS fund in getting these books to the school where I completed my secondary education in the 1960’s. Well done OKAS
Well done OKAS. A tremendous achievement