Build a library in Guinea, West Africa

A book can open up a child's world.

Imagine a small village in Sub-Saharan West Africa with just over 125 schoolchildren, in a country with one of the lowest literacy rates in the world at 30%, where reading and writing could be a real possibility for every child.   In the past five years we have raised funds to pay for uniforms, school fees and essential school supplies. While this has helped, the key resource to gaining literacy is missing - books. Better yet, a library full of books!

Kouya Sidia is the richest place I have ever visited despite there being no electricity, the necessity of carrying clean water from hand-pumped wells, and at times a shortage of food. Children share what little clothing they have, yet their laughter and singing is contagious.   Kouya Sidia, a small village in Guinea, West Africa, lacks many things we in the western world take for granted, including an affordable education in a country with few, if any, public libraries.  Picture books.  We will buy the books and deliver them, as well as solar lanterns for lighting, but without the library, there's no place to store them or read them after dark.

To make this dream a reality, a library needs to be built - a library with solar powered lighting, shelves, and seats for reading - designed to provide and preserve high quality books in a harsh climate. It is possible. It can be done - it just takes passion, determination, and financial contributions.

                                    The students of Kouya Sidia, outside their school, with new supplies in 2019.

Here are some of the hard working and loving children the library benefit.

Library Design

Most importantly, the village elders, chief of the school and school teacher are overjoyed and excited about the possibility of a library in Kouya Sidia. With this community support it is sure to be an active part of their community.

A location in the village has been set aside.  Materials for the library and people to build it are in place.

The proposed library will consist of two rooms each 10 feet by 15 feet.  One room will contain a circulation of 500+ books shelved within arm's reach of the children.  The other will be a reading room with a table, chairs and a large window. A veranda about 6 feet wide will wrap the front and side of the building. Children will read and write under solar lamps provided at at a reduced cost by MPOWERD.

The roof, constructed of corrugated metal, will help protect the library from Guinea's harsh climate.

The building itself will be composed of bricks made in the village and will financially support the people of Kouya Sidia while they build their own library. Since the materials are sourced in the village, any repairs needed over time will be addressed immediately.

The cost of the bricks, cement, sand, wood, roof, door, window, shelving, books and labor is $10,000 

Helping the children of Kouya Sidia started with one child, my son, looking to make a difference, and has now blossomed into the potential to change the lives of an entire village in a positive way. Please help as we begin our next endeavor. 

While it takes a village to raise a child, a book can open up a child's world. Imagine what a library full of them can do!

All donations will go directly to Stands for School, the organization overseeing this project.
To learn more about what's already been accomplished, please visit Stands for School

Thank you MPOWERD for your support on this project.


John Marlowe 
Dunns, ME

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