When it comes to reading, having a comfy spot is actually pretty important. It’s hard to really get into a good story without a nice place to sit. For that matter, the right furniture is crucial for creating a reading and learning environment that’s calming and feels welcoming.
Fortunately, the building in Nyabiheke was already equipped with library tables and chairs (too many, in fact – we actually needed to take some away to make the space usable).
We just needed to take care of the rest.
It was all about shopping locally. We hired refugees in the camp who are expert carpenters and welders to start building a few wooden bookshelves for inside and welding some metal and wood benches for outdoor seating. Then we headed to the camp tailor, and she got to work constructing pillows for the library.
Our partner World Vision offered us a few children’s tables and chairs for the kids’ corner. We just needed some armchairs, a few more shelves and some floor mats, so we headed to the store to grab those items.
Many hands make light work. Once everyone had done their part, the library was looking more like a library. And we could imagine teachers reading to a group of students, teenagers studying for their exams, and adults escaping their busy lives into a great book…but we still needed books!