African school library project

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A Queenstowner’s appealing for support to build a school library in Africa to encourage kids to read.

Mandy Melhuish adopted the project after a “life-changing experience” volunteering in Tanzania last year for an American-based non-profit, E.P.I.C., that drilled a clean water well in a village.

While there, Melhuish visited another village, Lupa Lama, where the school principal shared the community’s dream of building a library so students could learn English and get ahead.

“In Tanzania, especially, the schools are trying to encourage the reading culture, however they have nothing to read.”

Inspired, Melhuish, 25, set up a Gofundme page and so far has raised just over $4000 of the $20,000 needed to turn a run-down storage room into a library.

After a fundraiser on the Gold Coast next month she’ll make a two-and-a-half week visit to Lupa Lama in September – she’s hoping work will have started by then.

Melhuish, who’s getting support from the E.P.I.C. charity, is also keen to run a fundraising raffle so is appealing for local businesses to donate prizes.

To donate, visit gofundme.com/buildingalibrary or to donate raffle prizes email mandymelhuish@gmail.com.

– PHILIP CHANDLER