Books for Congo creates community-based libraries to increase access to books for children, youth and adults in villages, towns and cities in Congo. We have created 16 libraries in North and South Kivu in partnership with local institutions since 2016. These libraries are located in Goma, Bukavu, Rugari, Sake, Beni and Kanyabayonga. Our dream is to see a library in each town in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The PYE library (Bibliothèque Ecole de Langues PYE) began as a mini-library in a small 2-tiered bookshelf in one of the language school's classrooms. In 2018, PYE began fundraising and construction of a dedicated library space. Construction was completed and opened its doors in July 2019. To date, the PYE library has received over 1,400 books from Books for Congo. PYE, which stands for Promoting Youth Education, is a local organization that provides educational opportunities to youth focused on civic education and community service.
CAMME was one of the original partners in 2016. The organization had a room designated as a library, but it was empty and did not have any books! They had dreamed of having a library, but had struggled to make that dream a reality. With the help of Books for Congo, the CAMME Library officially opened its doors to the community in 2016.
CONGO PEACE NETWORK LIBRARY
The partnership with Congo Peace Network (CPN) began in 2017. At the time, CPN had some sparsely populated bookshelves. Books for Congo added a few hundred books to their collection to fill the shelves and get their library started. In 2018, when CPN moved to a new location, Books for Congo helped them setup their new space. Their library’s collection of over 1,000 books is focused on peacebuilding, and has both French and English collections.
BIBLIOTHEQUE AMANI (PEACE LIBRARY)
This library began in 2016 as a small bookshelf with a few books that the founder had collected. Through support from Books for Congo, the library established a large reading room filled with bookshelves and over 1,000 books. This library is located in Kanyabayonga, a particularly conflict-affected area. The library opens its doors to the surrounding communities including university students and activities for kids who cannot afford to go to school.
AMANI LANGUAGE INSTITUTE
Amani Language Insititute is a language learning center located in downtown Goma. This small library has collections in French and English, as well a collection of language learning resources for English, French, German, Congolese languages, and other languages.
Kusoma means "read” in Kiswahili. The Projet Kusoma library began with a small donation of books from Books for Congo in 2017. The library actively promotes literacy among soccer players who participate in Projet Kusoma’s parent organization’s soccer academy. The library is also active as a mobile library which serves area elementary schools as well as the children’s prison in Goma.
DON BOSCO FOOTBALL ACADEMY
The Don Bosco Football Academy was established in 2017 in Birere, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Goma. The library is the only quiet place in the area for students to read or study. It serves a range of kids, including those who participate in the football academy as well as children and youth from the surrounding neighborhoods. The library contains over 1,000 books.
CONGO PEACE SCHOOL LIBRARY
The Congo Peace School School and Community Library is located in Bukavu. The library opened in late 2019 initially as a school library, but in 2020 will open its doors to the wider community. The library currently holds over 850 books.
Leopard Education had dreamed of opening a library as part of their community-focused education program. They even had a room for the library, but it was empty except for a suitcase with a small collection of excellent books about DRC and Africa which they had collected. With the support of Books for Congo, the Leopard Education library officially opened in 2018. The library has a collection of over 1,500 books and is the first library to serve the Ndosho neighborhood in Goma.
The Ndosho parish is a quiet location where many young people come to study and do their homework. Those who came to study requested books for a library, and it was the perfect location for a library in one of Goma’s most populous neighborhoods. The library opened in 2019 with over 1,000 books provided by Books for Congo.
MONT CARMEL LIBRARY
The Mont Carmel library was established in 2017 with the support of Books for Congo. What started as an empty room without a ceiling is now a furnished room filled with books and the walls are filled with paintings by young neighborhood artists. The library is frequented by avid readers who regularly request new books!
INSTITUT RUTOBOKO SCHOOL LIBRARY
The library building at Institut Rutoboko school was built thanks to a generous donation from Penny Vos for Solidareca Bonvolo. Books for Congo provided over 500 books to fill the new library.
Arc-en Ciel is a school located in Goma. With the provision of over 2,000 books from Books for Congo, the school was opened its library which serves not only students but also the neighborhood community.
THIERRY DE PAUL LIBRARY
The Thierry de Paul Library was created in 2018 in honor of Thierry de Paul who was a very active member of our librarian Group. Thierry tragically died when hit by a car the week before he graduated from university in 2018. In his honor, one of the other members of the librarian group established this library in Thierry’s hometown of Sake. The library has a collection of over 1,000 books. It is housed in the local office of the Ministry of Education, and its doors are open to all.