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Former MCAST head librarian helps 35 African colleges


Sep 2, 2022

When the primary case of COVID-19 was reported in Tanzania on March 16, final yr, Laurence Zerafa was midway by way of a undertaking geared toward updating faculty libraries.

As in most different nations, college students have been despatched dwelling to assist curb the pandemic, however the former MCAST head librarian determined to remain on to finish the undertaking and return to Malta in August as deliberate.

“The first concern was that good hospital care was not obtainable close by and it could take a day’s journey to succeed in Dar es Salaam,” he advised Occasions of Malta one yr on, as he works on one other undertaking that would profit some 35 colleges in East Africa.

“The final obtainable alternative to fly again to the island was round Easter Sunday. After cautious thought and prayer, I made a decision to remain in Tanzania and end my work,” he stated.

This was the second time that Zerafa had flown to the east African nation as a volunteer with the Church NGO Voluntiera Lajċi Missjunarji to improve libraries at Salesians of Don Bosco church colleges.

Beneficiary libraries in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda

Amongst others Zerafa put in an off-the-shelf software program system to electronically catalogue library books.

After introducing the system in Dodoma between 2017 and 2018, Zerafa, now retired, headed to Didia, within the Shinyanga area and Mafinga, within the Iringa area, the place in 2019 and 2020 he additionally educated library workers, lecturers and college students.

However quickly after he returned to Malta in August of final yr, three benefactors who had sponsored the library work expressed curiosity in supporting future initiatives.

So, Zerafa collected books, magazines, DVDs and stationery gadgets to be shipped to Dar es Salaam to produce a number of faculty libraries.

There are presently 35 beneficiary libraries in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda run by Salesians, Jesuits, Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Sisters of Notre Dame.

Whereas bills to cowl the container to move the gadgets are being coated by an area sponsor, Zerafa wants assist with finding out and packing the fabric.

And identical to he has accomplished to assist replace libraries, Zerafa is in the meantime additionally engaged on serving to a Salesian faculty in Didia to construct and equip a chemistry laboratory.

Anybody who want to assist out, whether or not financially or to volunteer a few of their free time, can get in contact on [email protected]

One also can lookup the Fb web page ‘Donate Books for Libraries in Tanzania’ for particulars.

Impartial journalism prices cash. Assist Occasions of Malta for the worth of a espresso.

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