WELLESLEY ISLAND, N.Y. (WWNY) - Kids in the African country of Malawi rush to the site of north country visitors bringing books....
“All children have a right to literacy so they can read and be educated and make their own decisions,” said Heather White, team leader for Malawi Early Literacy Team, or M.E.L.T..
Over the past few years White and her group, Malawi Early Literacy Team, have made made tens of thousands of children’s books in the north country and sent them to Malawi to be handed out at schools to teach kids English.
However, on July 4th, White and M.E.L.T.'s director in Malawi, Sam Chirwa, say the group’s library was attacked during a political protest - not targeted at them, but M.E.L.T. was caught in the middle.
“Someone just called me on the phone to say, ‘Your office is being vandalized,’” said Chirwa.
“5,000 books that were organized in bins for delivery, put them in the driveway and set them ablaze,” said White.
White says some books were cleaned and saved, but they went from having 8,000 books to hand out to 3,000. They luckily still have their vehicle used to deliver the books to the around 20 schools they serve.
They’re collecting donations on M.E.L.T.'s website for new books. White says the project will bounce back.
“If I, even for a moment, think I want to give up on this project, all I have to do is think about those kids that will walk to school and wait for a teacher to get out of the hospital and come back and teach them. All we need to do is be determined to serve them as they are determined to learn,” said White.