community | com ∙ mu ∙ ni ∙ ty |
definition: a unified body of individuals
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:
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!
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.
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!
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!
As of August 1st, 2016, approximately 5,000 textbooks (230 boxes = 7500 pounds!!) are being prepared for shipment to Mzuzu University! We are amazed and grateful and humbled by all who have worked together to make this possible.
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!
The USL lab truck, usually used as a testing hub for autonomous aerial vehicles, doubled as a great transporter for the boxes of books.
In just a short time, the books will be on their way to Mzuzu University!
A detailed list of needed theology books has been added to the Other Book Needs page. Please take a look.
All donations can be sent to the following address:
The Mzuni Library Initiative, 201 Architecture Annex, 140 Otey Street, NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061
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.
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.
I’d like to thank all of the students and faculty who volunteered their time this evening to sort through and pack the first wave of books that we hope to ship to Mzuzu University in the near future. The pictures below capture our evening’s activities.
We would like to thank Darien Book Aid for their kind donation of several boxes of books to the Mzuni Library Initiative. We would particularly like to thank the volunteer who took the time to select books that align well with the needs of Mzuzu University.
In one of the images below, Hayden Boyd (President of the Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation) is standing behind a number of the books we have received from Darien Book Aid.
We are excited by the books that are arriving! We would like to send a BIG thank you to everyone who has contributed books, time, and strong arms to move these books over the past week. Below are some pictures of our volunteers at work!