All set for Sierra Leone

Over 200 educational books from Somerset College in Taunton will soon be on their way to Sierra Leone in Africa, as part of a huge consignment being gathered together to help a village project.

The Sella Community Development Project in the northern village of Kamakwie has been set up with the help of a former Blackdown Hills doctor, Dr Jonathan Meads, whose son Richard is working in mining in the area.

All three of Dr Meads’ sons were former students at the College, so he approached the library about potential book donations and they were delighted to help.

“We had books we no longer need for vocational subjects like construction and plumbing and all sorts, and for them to be of help to people elsewhere is a wonderfully sustainable use,” said Jolanta Peters, Research and Library Services Manager at Somerset College.

Dr Meads, who is co-ordinating the Taunton end of a consignment of over 1,000 books being shipped to Sierra Leone early in the New Year, explained how the locally run Sella Community Development Project is helping schoolchildren and adults.

“It is a small charity where costs are kept to the minimum and no wages are paid, run by the locals and coming from local need. At the moment it’s involved in two main areas of Education and Local Economy, and the books will be used in a newly established library building,” he said.

As well as helping schoolchildren and teachers, the Project also runs adult literacy and has a scheme that has helped 400 local women develop small businesses.

Caption: Boxes of books for Dr Jonathan Meads, right, from Somerset  College library staff (left to right) Moya Doherty, Andrew Hobbs, Jolanta Peters, and Abdullah Faruk.