Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust celebrated 20 years of Existence on the 19th of May 2012. Among various speakers, Distinguished Guests, Dignitaries, Trustees and the Invited Guests; Mrs. Mary Ndlovu gave a background of the organisational vision and the journey they have travelled to get thus far.
Dreams do come true, not by magic or miracle, but by hard work, through people working together, through commitment and dedication. Twenty years ago, this was a dream, but today it is a reality and its making a difference in people’s lives and to the forward movement of the whole community because that is why it was created.
The Trust was established in 1992 in Tribute to the late Mr. Edward Ndlovu who was the Member of Parliament. He passed on in 1989. He was committed to bring positive change to the community of Matabeleland South in Zimbabwe; however he had very little time to make any meaningful contribution. Before the establishment of ENMT in 1992, Gwanda had 1 library that was housed in a small building which was being operated by a group of white commercial farmers. It was hardly used and contained mainly novels from the 1950s.
When we started, the EMNT library opened once a week because of capacity. Now we are able to open daily. We started with 10 communities in Gwanda West and today we are working with 27 communities.
ENMT has had two major achievements taking place: The construction of their building which went up in 2000 and the second wing which was constructed in 2009 (which was one of the worst years of hyper inflation and shortages of material).
Through a personal friend, we were put in touch with Africa Group of Sweden; which was the beginning of a long and very fruitful journey which continues today. They bought us our first vehicle which was intended to transport books to the rural schools; before that we had to beg, borrow or hire a van. AGS provided us with our first professional Librarian, who came from Sweden on a two year contract (from 2000 to 2002). Since then they have and are supporting our rural programmes, in particular, they have supported us with funds to purchase books, transport and salaries for our programme support staff. They fund our trainings/workshops.
The vision of the library will ensure the accomplishment of the following opportunities:
- Children and adults will learn to read and read to learn
- Children will develop interest in reading and will find value in books
- Information will assist people in improving their lives in a variety of ways
- Educated and informed people can do more for themselves; and can demand and hold the government accountable.
Today we are celebrating what we have achieved so far- together but we still have dreams. I dream that this library can become a haven for everyone in this community. I dream that this library will become a place where everyone will meet and together learn, study, share ideas and develop wisdom, a place where we help each other to grow.
The children were among the distinguished guest by virtue of being the main users of the library. The celebration ended by honouring the patrons (long term subscribers) of the library, with one graduate having used the library since he was at secondary school. A local villager (former teacher) was also honoured for being a consistence library user who comes after every week from more 40 kilometres away to change and get new books.