Report in the EMC tells about the difference the Rotary Club of Stittsville is making with their Library project in the village of Leweero, Uganda.
Posted Mar 8, 2012 By John Currie
 Brad Spriggs Click to Enlarge
Brad Spriggs
EMC news - The Rotary Club of Ottawa - Stittsville has made a difference in a town in Uganda.

Rotary Club member Brad Spriggs of Stittsville, who has just returned from a trip to Uganda where he was involved in establishing a library in the community of Luweero, told his fellow Club members at their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 28 that the mayor there had acknowledged that the project has changed the face of the town.

Mr. Spriggs said that the library project had created something in Luweero that had never been there before, making books readily available in their lives for the first time ever.

But even more than setting up the library and providing the books, this Rotary project has also impacted the Luweero community by distributing soccer balls and erecting a basketball net in the community.

Mr. Spriggs told how recreation for youngsters used to involve playing on a broken swing or pushing around a tire with a stick. Now, as he told about a scene that he witnessed before leaving, over 30 youngsters can be seen in the evening playing soccer and basketball, laughing and having fun like young people everywhere should be doing. He noted that one young girl was even playing with a hula hoop which had been supplied.

This is how this Rotary Club of Ottawa - Stittsville project has impacted this Ugandan community of Luweero.

While there to help launch this community library project in Luweero, Mr. Spriggs also got to experience life in Uganda including its wildlife and some of its attractions such as the Nile River where he went on a sightseeing boat cruise.

He noted that Ugandan roads are not only pothole filled but very different from roads in Canada in that a major road there would, as he said, make his cottage road appear like the 401. As for secondary roads in Uganda, they are basically dirt roads that are destroyed when the inevitable rains come.

During his time in Uganda, Mr. Spriggs saw a variety of wildlife such as elephants, hippopotamus, crocodiles and chimpanzees. Giant vultures are also a common sight in Uganda.

Mr. Spriggs, during his stay in Uganda, was able to attend a wedding ceremony which involved the presentation of food and gifts as a man married a woman from a neighbouring village.

"It was quite an event to see," he told his fellow Rotary Club members.

Besides setting up the new library with books, Mr. Spriggs also visited a number of schools in the area where he also left some books.

A local contractor had been hired to make the renovations on a building so that it could house the community library. Mr. Spriggs observed that while labour in Uganda is cheap, the materials needed for construction projects are very expensive so that actual project costs work out to about the same as they would be in Canada.

Besides setting up the library with shelving around the room, the project also involved fixing the rain collection system for the building to handle the rains in the rainy season. This rainy season began just as Mr. Spriggs left to come back home but just one rain storm filled up the 6,000 litre tank that collects the rain water. That's how much rain comes down when it does rain.