The construction of a community-driven library in the Eastern Cape is one step closer to completion after a funding boost from a social impact initiative launched in 2019.
The roof of the Novulakuvaliwe Community Library, situated in Lusikisiki, is currently being completed, following a significant contribution from JT Comms, powered by Mindshare. This is one of the projects to receive funding from a new social impact initiative that has brought together JT Communication Solutions, a Johannesburg-based, 100% black owned media agency, and the global Mindshare media agency.
The library is a project of Nomkhubulwane Development Projects, an NPO based in the village of Mzizangwa. The NPO is fiercely committed to a development agenda that seeks to empower the rural community in which it exists – and provide sustainable development in areas such as in education, skills development, arts and culture.
With leadership from co-directors Zanele Ndlovu, Unathi Magubeni and Nosiphiwo Magubeni, Nomkhubulwane Development Projects is an outstanding example of South Africans themselves tackling the challenges and problems that face so many communities. The Novulakuvaliwe Community Library also provides a lesson in the passion that can drive community projects towards sustained impact: instead of waiting for a lumpsum cash injection, the team took an incremental approach to the building of the library, in order to get the work moving. Construction began on 20th September 2019, with contributions and donations from a network of friends and associates.
“We are motivated to play our role in rural development, especially in the community in which we exist,” says Ndlovu. “We realise that rural areas are being left behind in terms of development and there is a generation of children whose future is handicapped just because of the area they are born in, and our conscious couldn’t let the status quo remain as such. We would like to make our contribution and hopefully inspire others to put much more focus on rural development.”
The Novulakuvaliwe Community Library will focus on two areas of underdevelopment in the rural community that it will serve – education and skills development. This is through an intervention that can start at the early childhood development phase in order to nurture the development of children. It is also a community-driven intervention that can provide library services and assist school going learners in their quest for knowledge – and provide skills development workshops to the unemployed and interested individuals.
Once complete, the library will be a centre for knowledge and research for the learners of Gwexintaba, Magwa, Mzizangwa and Goso Primary School and the community at large. The Novulakuvaliwe Community Library is prioritising fiction and non-fiction written in Xhosa so that the community can initially interact with books in their mother tongue. The books will cater for foundation phase learners, primary and secondary school learners, and also accommodate adult readers.
As part of the NPO’s belief in the power of partnerships of all sizes, Nomkhubulwane Development Projects has already secured books from the National Library of South Africa which will be delivered on completion of the library building structure. Book donations have also come from National Book Week (a South African Book Development Council initiative) and publisher, Jacana Media. In addition, the team will work with a librarian based at UNISA in establishing the library while the local office of the Library and Information Association of South African will assist with further insights into establishing and operating a library.
Along with the completion of the roof, January also saw donations for the construction of shelves. The next step is the plastering of the walls, ceiling material, painting of the walls and electrification of the building.
A new crowd-funding campaign has also been launched, to enable South Africans to get involved. Donations of over R1000 will be engraved on a plaque that will be placed on the wall by the entrance. You can donate here https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/community-library
“We have a team of capable and dedicated change agents who are passionate in empowering the rural community in which we exist,” concludes Ndlovu. “We are confident that this initiative will not only contribute now but also to future generations.”
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About JT Comms
JT COMMUNICATION SOLUTIONS is a dynamic, 100% black owned media agency established in 2004, rooted in Africa with a global reach. The agency’s core business offering includes media relations, publicity, communications, reputation management, crisis communication, event and marketing solutions amongst others.
JT Comms continues to constantly evolve, remain organic and successfully scale its operations to a 360-degree digital agency and is a conduit in producing effective and relevant African content that’s definitive and packaged for digital penetration. The agency has launched new innovations such as hosting “Business Master Classes” and launching an online TV station, which hosts diverse projects such as ECAfrica, Bunnies in the Burbs and Amplifying African Excellence. JT Comms significantly differentiates itself from its competitors by being relevant and providing tailored solutions and a resource for media players in sourcing African content. @jtcomms – www.jtcomms.co.za