Articles on the Mzuni Delegation Visit

Last week, the visiting delegation from Mzuzu University (Mzuni) had a whirlwind tour of Virginia Tech’s capabilities in the area of architecture, data analytics and visualization, library services, and health and medical device research. The purpose of their visit was twofold. First, they carefully reviewed three of the conceptual library designs that students and faculty in the School of Architecture + Design had developed over the past several months. Second, they interacted with faculty and students to explore the scope of a future data analytics and visualization center that we hope will be incorporated into a future Mzuni library.

The delegation’s visit was covered by our local news media – WDBJ7 and the Roanoke Times.

Virginia Tech also prepared the following story on the Mzuni delegation’s visit.

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Ready for the Mzuni Delegation

Ralph P Hall

On Monday, an 11-person delegation from Mzuzu University (Mzuni) will be visiting Virginia Tech for a week. The purpose of their visit is to engage with students and faculty in relation to the design of a new library for Mzuni. In 2015, Mzuni lost their library, containing over 45,000 titles, to a fire caused by an electrical fault. Since then, the Mzuni Library Initiative – an effort led by Virginia Tech and supported by Radford University, local community groups, and the Malawian Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation – has shipped over 8,000 books to Mzuni for their temporary library (see the video below).

During the past year, four faculty and around 20 students in the School of Architecture + Design have developed three conceptual designs for a new Mzuni library (see the images on the front of the binders below). During their visit, the Mzuni delegation will explore each…

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New project! Theology Book Drive

The Theology faculty at Mzuni have requested theology books for continued support  of undergraduate and graduate theology programs at Mzuni. The Theology Book Drive has been established under the Mzuni Library Initiative in an effort to address these needs.

While open to anyone wanting to give to this initiative, this initiative specifically intends to draw on existing and build new volunteer networks among Church congregations and interested individuals. You are invited to pray for this initiative and asked to consider giving of your time, energies, and resources:

  • Get more information: Project brochure | Receive project updates
  • Which books are we looking for? Nearly 1,000 books
  • What criteria are applied to books donated beyond this list?
  • Can I order books and have them shipped directly? Yes
  • How will you avoid duplicates? Books purchased thru Amazon will be removed from the list when purchased. Information about ordered and received status is available here.
  • Timeline? We plan to accept donations and books through December 2017.

SIX WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

PRAY

VOLUNTEER

DONATE MONEY

  • All donations are 100% tax deductible. You will receive a receipt. Donations will be used for book acquisition and shipping. No part of your donation will be used to cover overhead expenses.
  • Donate by check:  Write “Theology books” on your check’s memo line and send to: Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation, 507 Delburg Street, Davidson, NC 28036. (Please do not ship books to this address.)
  • Donate online (PayPal’s 2% service fee applies. Note “Theology books” on your donation.)

BUY BOOKS

DONATE BOOKS

TELL OTHERS

 Questions? Please contact: Anita Walz, walzanita@gmail.com

The trucks are packed- thank you!

community | com ∙ mu ∙ ni ∙ ty |

definition: a unified body of individuals

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Above, 20+ volunteers gathered at Kentland Farms to pack the books on the trucks. Next stop… Project Hope in Winchester, VA.

What a joyful day of celebration for the Mzuni Library Initiative and the awesome community that has rallied behind these efforts. Perhaps there has never been a more powerful personification of community, and today we were particularly (wonderfully!) overwhelmed by the community that has supported the Mzuni Library Initiative, as over 20 volunteers gathered at Kentland Farms to see the textbooks on their way- the final leg of their journey to Mzuzu University in northern Malawi.

Here’s a quick recap of the Mzuni Library Initiative by the numbers:

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And so, today we offer a humble, sincere thank you to the community members and groups that have been the heart and hands of this initiative, both in Blacksburg, Virginia, and Mzuzu, Malawi. We also are incredibly grateful to the Roanoke Times and WFXR News for sharing the Mzuni Library story and joining us on this special day.

The next stop for the books is the Project Hope warehouse in Winchester, VA. From there, the books will be loaded on a shipping container bound for Mzuzu!

Textbooks Africa donates books for Mzuni

The Mzuni Library Initiative would like to extend many heartfelt thanks to Textbooks Africa for the generous donation of 75 boxes of books for the Mzuzu University Library. On August 29th, we were excited to welcome Francesco, a representative of Textbooks Africa, to Virginia Tech. Pictured below are volunteers Francesco and Kevin with the book donations.

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One of the best parts of the day was getting to show Francesco the beautiful farmlands in Blacksburg while transporting the books. I was lucky to snap this picture in a peaceful moment before the team arrived and the fun began!

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We are also grateful to Zach and Danny, engineers from the Unmanned Systems Lab, for continually being the “willing hands” of the initiative and assisting with moving heavy boxes of books. Thanks Zach and Danny!

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Unmanned Systems Lab Prepares Books for Shipping

Many thanks to members of the Virginia Tech Unmanned Systems Lab, Masoud Shirazi, Andrew Jung, and the Repisky family for helping move the books to their temporary home. Currently, the books are awaiting shipment, and we are very excited!

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The USL lab truck, usually used as a testing hub for autonomous aerial vehicles, doubled as a great transporter for the boxes of books.

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In just a short time, the books will be on their way to Mzuzu University!

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Organizing the First Wave of Books (Part 2)

Last night, Virginia Tech students braved the weather to help organize another basement full of books that we received from a large number of individuals and organizations. We greatly appreciate these donations and all the help we have received in transporting many boxes of books from donors to our storage location.

I created a short video (below) of the book organizing activity to provide some behind the scenes footage of the students who are supporting this effort. We are now working to develop a plan for shipping multiple palettes of books to Malawi this summer.

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Interim Library Open

In May 2016, Mzuzu University opened an interim library.  The former students’ dining hall has been remodeled into a small, but functional, university library. Some book donations have already been received from individuals and organizations in Malawi, the UK, and other countries, and more will soon be sent from the US. However, many of the specific titles needed for student’ course work are missing. Click HERE for more information about how you can help.

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