This week saw the start of project planning for our latest project – a village library in Maung Shwe Lay.
The fishing village of Maung Shwe Lay, south of Ngapali Beach, is typical for many rural communities in Myanmar. The village is self-sufficient yet lacks in terms of continuing education. The villagers are eager to continue to learn, but due to the nature of their lifestyles (relying on fishing and farming) they do not have the time and means to attend further schooling.
Maung Shwe Lay village has one primary school attended by approximately 200 students and a secondary school for 250 students. For higher education people have to leave the village for Thandwe or Yangon.
A couple of years ago the village committee collected funds for the construction of a library building, which has been completed successfully. Unfortunately, the library was never opened and operated due to a lack of funds for purchasing books.
Having discovered this, Exo Foundation made the decision to consult with the villagers on the continuation of this initiative.
After a meeting with the village committee and an initial inspection of the site, Exo Foundation offered financial support for the establishment and running of the library. Opening a library is a great way to supplement formal education that is given to the villagers. And, moreover, providing free access to books gives the opportunity for further education and self-study to students and adults alike.
In order to ensure a long-term positive impact we work closely together with the local community. One of the head teachers from the primary school has been appointed to manage the library and provides us with reports. The librarians will be appointed from the village community.
The coming months will see the furnishing of the library building with bookshelves, tables and chairs. Further, two librarians will be trained with the generous support of the British Council, which will hold a training session for the librarians in Yangon. After completion of the training program the selection and purchase of books is scheduled.
We at Exo Foundation are eager and excited to get this project started and will keep you posted about all the developments. If you would like to support the library or need more information on the project, please contact [email protected].