“Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.” – Tomie dePaola
Four years since the pilot of a modular library was constructed by CSX Customer Services, a group company of JSE-listed Metrofile Holdings Limited, in collaboration with South African charity group, SHOUT for a safer South Africa, a seventh modular, fully serviced library has been launched in Bushbuckridge Primary School in Mpumalanga. Managing Director of CSX Customer Services, Mario Martins, says that this initiative is as a result of the dire need for improved literacy and education within South Africa. By providing these modular libraries, Martins says that CSX Customer Services greatly assists children to learn and expand their imaginations. Previously launched libraries include Tembisa, Harrismith and Soshanguve, with future plans to launch one in Motherwell in the Eastern Cape.
“A percentage of the CSX business is focused on providing education sector solutions both locally and in Sub-Saharan Africa, making our role in the library project a significant and strategic one. Many children are known to walk as far as 6km to gain access to a library, and we hope that in providing these modular libraries, the time saved walking such far distances will result in an environment that is safe, conducive to more reading and provide better learning experiences. Education and imagination are key in the development of the minds of young people”.
Martins says that these modular libraries are constructed from chromadex materials and are designed to last up to fifty years, requiring very little maintenance. CSX has fully equipped these libraries, including children’s furniture to create a fun and secure environment: “The libraries are each equipped with an estimated 10 000 books that are specifically selected by Breadline Africa, who also appoint librarians to run the facilities. Each library is conveniently situated in well-lit areas and are typically in safe communal areas. To date, the feedback has been exceptionally favourable, with many children choosing to spend their afternoons reading,” says Martins.
CSX is inspired by the opportunity to assist in the education of young people and are very proud to give back to communities in need. “We remain committed to supply as many modular libraries as possible in hope of significantly assisting the education of the less fortunate in South African and surrounding countries,” says Martins.