The Library of Alexandria
Millennials find libraries to be archaic, a place where little research happens especially when technological advancement has made other methods of study easier.
But the story is different at the Library of Alexandria located in Egypt`s Mediterranean city.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina – as they call it, brings together arts, history, philosophy and science and indeed both the young and old use it.
The Library of Alexandria was reborn in 2002 after being destroyed thrice in ancient times. Like its architectural design, it`s a storm or wave of knowledge.
Masindi Hotel Library Opening
A few meters from Masindi town lies Uganda`s oldest hotel… built by Kenya Uganda Railways nearly a century ago.
Masindi Hotel has kept the charm of the 19th century… the era that inspired its architecture when it was being established in 1923.
A few of the items in here date back to the pre-colonial time… some even engraved on with symbols of KU – many of the accessories used were specially made for Kenya Uganda Railways.
It`s management and ownership has shifted several times until 17 years ago when Mr. Bhegani bought it.
Mustaq Bhegani, has let #UgandaReading set up a library at his hotel, to encourage the community to read and gain knowledge.
Nakawa Market Vendors Challenged to Read
Up to 10,000 vendors operate inside Nakawa Market daily.
It`s the country`s second biggest market, in the capital Kampala and has experienced mismanagement, space constraints and even produced a top model who sold groceries within.
But on this day, #UgandaReading is not here for any of that but for answers to a question… can a hash tag inspire the traders to read?
Ugandan Paradox Book Review.
Here are excerpts from the book review of “The Ugandan Paradox”, authored by Joachim Buwembo.
It was hosted at Nile Dialogue Platform in Kampala, an organization that promotes peace through dialogue.
Mahrukh Sajid, a literature enthusiast, led the discussion.
Sophie Ikenye`s Love For Books: Why #UGANDAREADING
Literacy levels in Africa are on the rise. In Uganda, the rate is at 70 percent and experts say, this figure can go higher.
Sophie Ikenye, a lover of books and reading believes promoting readership will encourage African writers and in turn promote the continent`s literature and narration of Africa`s untold stories.
The renowned BBC Focus on Africa journalist was in Uganda for live broadcasts and the story she covered was that of #UgandaReading, she explains why.
Promoting Recovery Among Mentally Ill Patients
Up to 900 mentally ill patients were admitted to Butabika Hospital by Christmas of 2016. The national psychiatry referral hospital deals with an increasing number of patients with psychiatric diseases, most caused by drug abuse, depression and trauma.
While some may not cure completely, reading can help with recovery of mentally ill patients, which is why a #UgandaReading club has been set up there.
Reading is a tool used at the hospital`s recovery college, where recovered patients volunteer working with therapists to help patients out of the condition.
Kayira Hosts Readers To Goat Roasting
Motivation is a key factor in successful reading, research confirms. To nurture it from childhood requires four important elements: access to books, choice of books, familiarity with words, reading, and exposure to others who exhibit a love of reading.
This is why #UgandaReading is taking to different activities that offer an environment where ardent readers can inspire readership.
One such event was a goat roasting that went beyond just feasting on meat and pilau… It was at ex BBC journalist, Kassim Kayira`s farm in Bombo, where he told stories and highlighted the importance of encouraging Ugandans to write as well.
Wash & Wills Library Opens
It`s the first of it`s kind in the region… a reading space that gives the visitors of Wash and Wills Hotel, Mbale more than what they pay for. A dozen of #UgandaReading members headed to the Eastern Uganda town and spent the weekend setting up the library.
They were led by Mariam Nagujja, an author and life coach, who donated her book “The Ladies` Guide”.
There has been feedback already as tens have visited the luxurious hotel just so they could enjoy reading books.
The books are kept away in the evening as a team is still being put together to man the library.
For now, Patricia Wambugu, the operations manager there is overseeing the library, and those who wish to read can go and sign out a book. They are required to leave their valid identity cards behind until they return specific book borrowed.
It`s no excuse not to read. The National Library of Uganda has now pledged to train the people who will run this library free of charge and even donate books to fill it up.
The team will soon head back for a revamp to make sure the people in Mbale are reading and at their convenience.
Uganda Reading in Prisons
Uganda Prisons Service is known worldwide for recording the least number of re-offending cases.
It means their rehabilitation process is effective and they have opened channels for interested parties to initiate rehabilitative programs within the walls.
One such organization is #UgandaReading – that has established clubs in the Luzira prisons complex to allow inmates read.
Launching the website
It took two weeks to put together what many would call a ‘skeleton’ of the #UgandaReading website.
The idea is to build and maintain space that allows a community interested in reading to exchange ideas, share knowledge, and relate freely.
Works on the site was initially started by Yusuf Anyanzwa, a web developer based in Nairobi.
With what he had put up, the site went up on November 7. Now, he is working with a top Ugandan web developer and consult, Osbert Mwijukye. The construction continues
Sharing the vision – Uganda Reading
It`s probably the toughest thing to do, the ability to find time and attend an event purely about reading with no merry making.
The vision sharing session held at the Pulsate office in Kampala, was attended by 40 people, a little over the number expected.
By 4:30p.m, on Friday 21 October, ideas were rolling up on how to get more and more Ugandans reading.