It was back in 2009 when First Steps Himalaya commenced working to improve early years education in Nepal, that the Yusef Abubaker Memorial Trust offered its support in the form of a library dedicated to Yusef Abubaker, a 12 year old boy from Dundee, Scotland who died suddenly of a cardiac arrhythmia. The tragic loss of Yusef spurred his family to start a trust in his name helping children less fortunate around the world. You can read more here: http://www.yusefabubaker.org.uk/
The first Yusef Abubaker Memorial Library was located in the purpose built Early Childhood building at Sangachok which was completed in 2010. Sadly, damaged that occurred during the huge Nepal earthquake of 2015 meant that this building was no longer safe to use and had to be demolished. It has taken several years to get children back into permanent classrooms and for the last several years, supplies including books had to be stored in the library until there was somewhere to put them.
Great news! Not only is the Yusef Abubaker Memorial Library up and running again at Sangachok but a second library at Mulkharka has now been established and will open to local children at the start of the new term. We are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer children in this area, the chance to come and read books, play games and enjoy learning outside the classroom.
With the help of some visitors from Scotland, our team worked hard to prepare the room in the earthbag built school at Mulkharka. A truck was hired to transport book shelves, tables and of course the books from Sangachok 30 minutes away. Everyone set to, sweeping, sorting and categorising the books which are culturally appropriate in English and Nepali. Local Supervisor Sabina Tamang will run the library and we are sure it is going to be a huge success!
Both libraries will be available for school classes to use as well as for children to come during breaks. We realise that reading material needs to appeal to rural Nepali children, hence having a large collection of Nepali story books. The books in English supplement these to support language learning. We also provide colouring books designed to help children recover from the trauma of earthquakes and games and activities to encourage attendance.