The Uganda Wildlife Conservation and Education Centre(UWEC) has in a bid to enhance literacy levels and conservation education partnered with Books For Development, a Nonprofit Organization based in Houston, Texas to launch a base library at the Entebbe zoo.
The partnership will also see the establishment of 50 mobile libraries for school children living on the islands of Lake Victoria.
“Books are only good if they are put to use. We need to get people interested in utilizing the library. As adults, we should inspire the children, by reading first and getting knowledgeable. The 50 mobile libraries are part of a pilot on Lake Victoria. The children will study about animals, learn and appreciate them, said Mark Cotham, the president for Books for Development.
He said that the NGO aims to address the book famine that exists in many developing countries by creating libraries, community, school and mobile, through the use of volunteers and donated or very low-cost books.
“Opening a conservation and education library is like planting and growing a tree,” he said.
According to UWEC Executive Director Dr. James Musinguzi, the partnership and support will go a long way in improving the development and self-confidence of children through reading.
“The concept of mobile libraries is a unique resource for the first time in our conservation education mandate. It is so important that children on the islands of Lake Victoria and other parts of Uganda are given a firm foundation in life by encouraging them to read and shape the conservation narrative from a young age. Our commitment is to make reading easily available to them,”Musinguzi noted.
He applauded Books for Development for the initiative that he said will promote not only the reading culture among children but also promote wildlife conservation through reading and appreciation of the interrelationship among humans, wildlife and the ecosystem.
To mark the beginning of a fruitful and exciting relationship, the Musinguzi and Cotham signed a Memorandum of Understanding between UWEC and Books for Development .