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Books for Lesotho.

When Welsh headmaster Dafydd Idriswyn Roberts visited Lesotho last October, he was shocked at the lack of equipment in rural primary schools. `There were virtually no books, and even basic texts like an atlas or a dictionary were often lacking,' he says. Roberts is currently Chairman of Dolen Cymru, the twinning link between Wales and Lesotho. He is headmaster of the primary school in a village on the island of Anglesey which is well known to tourists because of its long name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

In Lesotho with Roberts were Gareth Hughes, headmaster of the neighbouring Menai Bridge Primary School, and Toni Schiavone, humanities adviser with schools in Gwynedd and Anglesey. On their return home they launched a project to equip Lesotho's 1,230 primary schools with English reading books donated by Welsh schools.

They started out in Anglesey, where children are now well on their way to gathering a container-load of books. The Isle of Anglesey County Council is providing storage space, while the British High Commissioner in Lesotho will pay for the container.

Dolen Cymru has received [pounds sterling] 250,000 from the National Lottery to extend the project to the rest of Wales, to purchase key textbooks and to produce original material in Sesotho, in cooperation with teachers and educationalists from Lesotho. The project will also have a health component, aimed at improving the training of voluntary health workers in Lesotho's villages.

`In deciding to help us with education, you have put your finger on the right button,' said Lesotho's High Commissioner, Benjamin Masilo, recently. `Lesotho has always sacrificed to educate its people, but our resources are limited.'
COPYRIGHT 1997 For A Change
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Williams, Paul
Publication:For A Change
Date:Aug 1, 1997
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