Uganda Starts To Build A Reading Culture With Its First Mobile Library
Clutching a pink plastic folder holding copies of books like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Busy Bear, John Katalaga climbs onto his motorbike taxi, ready for another mission.
His destination is 30 minutes away, where an excited seven-year-old waits for her weekly delivery of three books.
Mr. Katalaga drives a motorbike taxi, or boda boda as they’re called here, to deliver books in and out of Kampala as part of the Malaika Mobile Library – the first of its kind in Uganda.
“I like doing this job,” he says, bracing himself for the afternoon gridlock. “I like that children are reading books now.”
Children are the primary borrowers of this mobile library, which was always the aim, says Rosey Sembataya, who founded the venture in late 2014. As an English teacher and owner of a publishing house, she has seen firsthand how hard it is for children in Uganda to gain access to reading material, and how that handicap has trickled down into the classroom “where the effects of not reading are [so] glaring it hurts,” she says.