Story Highlights

  • Types of books needed
  • Future plans
  • Donations and other assistance
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In the spirit of President Obama's call for Americans to reach out to the global community, SDSU theater professor Peter Larlham has created an initiative to start a library at Mnyakongo School in Kongwa, Tanzania. 

The school, which currently serves 800 elementary pupils from ages 7 to 12, is in a remote and economically depressed region; it has no electricity and rudimentary educational facilities. In October 2008, Larlham was part of a small group of ex-pupils from colonial times who visited the school after 50 years to assist the school in improving the facilities.

Types of books needed

Larlham hopes to collect donated secondhand books to establish the beginnings of a library in the school.  Books needed include:

  • dictionaries
  • children encyclopedias
  • other non-fiction
  • picture storybooks 

"Although these books would be in English, the teachers at the school assured me that with English as the lingua franca of Africa, they would prove a powerful source for the children," Larlham said. "The small village has no library, and children have little access to information or images of a world outside of their immediate environment. English is the pupils' second language, so storybooks for all ages are welcome."

The school's headmistress, Angelina Munduli, is in full support of Larlham's initiative to install a library in the school. 

"All the teachers were excited by the possibility during my visit in 2008," Larlham said.

Future plans

It is anticipated that the project would be completed during the last two weeks of May 2010 by volunteer faculty and students from San Diego State University. The group would transport the books from Dar-es-Salaam to Kongwa, paint the room set aside for the library, install the shelving and catalogue the books.

Donations and other assistance

To donate a book, please deliver or send books to room 214 in the SDSU Dramatic Arts Building (a donation box is outside the door).  Larlham can also collect books on campus, or pick them up from donor’s homes.

To participate in the project, please contact Larlham directly at plarlham@mail.sdsu.edu.


Please find below a 30-second video of Mnyakongo School's children dancing.

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