In November 2011 Masiphumelele Library in partnership with Edunova and IkamvaYouth became the recipients of an EIFL-PLIP grant.  

EIFL (Electronic Information For Libraries) is an international organisation that is making a marked impact on the library world. With their slogan ‘Knowledge without Boundaries’ they are committed to developing a global network of libraries and their partners. The PLIP (Public Library Innovation Programme) grant supports innovative solutions to address socio-economic problems in developing countries.

Thanks to the grant, the Masiphumelele Library’s existing substandard computer facility will go through a dramatic transformation and will be updated with computers, projectors, printers and scanners. This new computer centre will be one of a kind in Masiphumelele and will offer an exciting space for youth to engage with technology and develop their computer skills.

The grant is not only concerned with hardware and the facility itself. EIFL is part of a global library initiative that aims to upscale the role that libraries can play in community development. To make a lasting impact in a sustainable way, EIFL promotes that libraries and their partners must advocate for themselves, to gain recognition as key players in the field of international development.

The new library at Kranj is offering innovative solutions using technology, to address societal problems

It is this that led Susan Alexander (Masiphumelele Librarian) and myself to Slovenia for a conference on Advocacy and Impact Assessment. Over the course of 4 days we under went training through the practical application of advocacy and communication strategy.

Colleagues from Estonia, Croatia, Macedonia, Kazakhstan in a discussion session

The people we met were inspiring and the skills we developed have empowered Masiphumelele Library and IkamvaYouth to embark on increased advocacy activities for the causes for which we work.

The first step is to get the centre up and running. The computers and desks are being fitted in the next 2 weeks and our facilitator, Nyasha Sithole, is undergoing intensive training, supported by Edunova. Once established, the centre opens up a range of exciting opportunities and possibilities for Ikamvanites and the wider library community.

First and foremost the centre will give all Ikamvanites direct access to a computer literacy programme. In addition the centre will engage young people in career guidance activities and assist and empower learners and the unemployed to access the workplace.  

This is an exciting development for the Masiphumelele Library and IkamvaYouth is proud to be a key partner in establishing the library as a centre for community empowerment.

Keep and eye on news about the centre and the projects that will take place.