Jacaranda School for Orphans last Friday opened a Mr. Luc’s Library for paediatric ward patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Luc Deschamps, Jacaranda Foundation executive director and France Honorary Consul, said the school decided to give books to children at the hospital to improve their literacy and knowledge levels.
“When you give a child a book, wonders happen. Through reading and looking at illustrations, children get to learn a lot,” he said.
On her part, Marie da Silva, who was the guest of honour and is the founder of Jacaranda School, expressed joy that the school donated books to QECH.
“I was born in this hospital in 1958. This hospital is home. That is why we, at Jacaranda, have brought this gift of books to this hospital. Books are not only important for knowledge but also to take the mind away [from pain].
“Even if the children don’t read, when they open books and see the pictures, the figures and illustrations, they will feel a lot better,” she said.
The ward matron Chisomo Kasitomu hailed Jacaranda School for Orphans and said the children were excited.
“We don’t take it for granted that Jacaranda School has donated books to us. We are the centre of excellence and the biggest hospital in Malawi. As such, we receive patients from across the country and this library will help children that are seeking medication here,” she said.
Gladys Kawinga, a 15-year-old patient in the ward, expressed happiness with the library and said she had already started reading some books.
“I like English and with this library, I will read a lot of fiction in English. By the time I will be discharged, I will have learned much of English,” she said.
Spicing the occasion, a 12-year-old Selina Chingapa recited a poem titled “Yes I can”.
‘A sick child/Yes a sick child/Can be helped to learn/Yes I can learn, I can play…’ read her poem in part.
Mr. Luc’s Library, is a room filled with shelves containing books ranging from academic, cookery and nutrition, fiction to religion.
Two artists Jim Alifisher and Chipiliro Chikwekwe painted animals, birds, fruits and alphabetical letters on the walls.
This is the seventh Mr. Luc’s Library that Jacaranda School has opened in its programme to improve literacy and reading culture in the country. n