VT’s Navy ROTC Helps Organize Next Shipment of Books

We would like to thank the Midshipmen in Bravo Company from Virginia Tech’s Navy ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) unit for helping us organize our second shipment of books to Mzuzu University. The video below provides some insight into what it takes to process over 100 boxes of books (weighing over 4,000 lbs) in 1.5 hours. We could not have done this so efficiently without the help of the NROTC. We plan to ship these books later this fall.

The trucks are packed- thank you!

community | com ∙ mu ∙ ni ∙ ty |

definition: a unified body of individuals


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:

By the numbers- Mzuni.PNG

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!

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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Darien Book Aid Donations

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.

Launching the Mzuni Library Initiative

In the early morning hours of Friday, December 18, 2015, the Mzuzu University library in Northern Malawi was completely destroyed by fire. The Mzuni library contained the textbooks and other study materials used by students. It was the main place on campus for students to study, read, and use computers. It housed the University’s network servers. All of these resources were destroyed by the fire. The University is moving forward to establish an interim library for the current semester, to plan for a permanent replacement, and to seek funding for these tasks.  It needs our help.


You can help rebuild this vital resource.  Virginia Tech and the Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation are collaborating to help Mzuni rebuild its library.

What books are needed?  Books urgently needed for students to use for their coursework are listed here. The University is seeking immediately to replace more than 800 of the most-used titles. Subject areas include science & math, social sciences & humanities, health sciences, resources & environment, information sciences, and management. 

How to donate a book:

  1. Purchase from the registry. Each book is listed in the registry, sortable by subject, with links to Amazon.com. Many of the books are available in good used condition at attractive prices. Others may be purchased new. Books will be sent to Virginia Tech, where they will be sorted and packed for shipment to Malawi in a container. The registry contains the details.
  2. Donate directly. Do you already have, or can get, some of the needed books? Books may be shipped to The Mzuni Library Initiative, 201 Architecture Annex, 140 Otey Street, NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Make a monetary contribution: Contributions are needed to pay for shipment of books to Malawi, to purchase needed books not available through donations, and to help the university pay for furnishing and equipping the library. Contributions may be made on-line or by check made to “Malawi Education Foundation” with “Mzuni library” in the memo field, and sent to Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation, 507 Delburg Street, Davidson, NC 28036.

The Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation established to aid educational and children’s welfare organizations in Malawi (tax ID #32-0282240). All book and monetary donations are deductible under US tax law. All donations will be used for the direct benefit of Mzuzu University, with never a deduction for administration or overhead costs.

Please also urge your friends and contacts to contribute. The needs are many. Every contribution, whether large or small, moves the new library forward. Thank you for your consideration.