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!
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!
Many thanks to Radford University Professors Jolanta Wawrzycka,Department of English, and her husband, Professor Jon Tso, Professor and Chair of the Geology Department, for their generous donation of many volumes of books to the Mzuni Library Initiative. We are grateful!