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Children's library opens at SOS Social Centre Gulu in Uganda

In order to encourage a reading culture in children, the SOS Social Centre in Gulu recently opened a children's library (March 2010).

New library SOS Social Centre Gulu UgandaIt is the only children's library in Gulu and was opened following donations of books by various organisations including UNICEF, Vision in Action, and the Gulu Rotary Club. The Gulu NGO Forum donated a computer which, it is hoped, funds permitting, is the first of many that will be in the library and will one day be connected to the internet. Another local community-based organisation donated the all-essential book shelves.

The aim of the new children's library is to allow children access to resources which will enhance their education and create a reading culture. Fittingly, children were involved in the planning process and will be trained by an SOS Social Centre co-worker as volunteers in the library when they are not at school, and particularly during the school holidays. It is intended that the library, which also contains educational toys, will be used by all the children of the Gulu community and by local schools.

The opening ceremony, at which children thanked the donors, was attended by the local community and leaders of the local district council who said that the facility will go a long way to helping local children. Once the library was declared open several children dived into the book shelves and sat down at the reading tables, totally absorbed in the books. The only noise came from the adults who were being shown around. The verdict was ten out of ten for five-year-old Nancy, a local child from the community who commented, "I have seen some good books - I will continue coming here".