“The Harold & Melissa Taylor Library”
Partner: Cornerstone Friends
Location: Nimule, South Sudan
Almost immediately after Traveling Stories became a bonafied nonprofit organization we were introduced to Seth and Sarah Trudeau, founders of a nonprofit called Cornerstone Friends that works with the people of Nimule, South Sudan to fight poverty at its roots by providing literacy instruction, teacher training, agricultural programs, and microbusiness opportunities. The Trudeau’s dream budget included money for a small library but it was about time for them to move to Africa and they had not raised enough. Traveling Stories stepped in and began collecting books and raising money to establish our first ever world library!
In 2010 we shipped 18 boxes and over 500 pounds of books from San Diego to Entebbe, Uganda. At that time South Sudan was not allowing any incoming mail. We hired a guard with an AK47 to help the Trudeaus transport the boxes of books the 200 miles of paved road and 80 miles of unpaved road between Entebbe and Nimule. Seth describes these challenging experience in his blog.
Finally the books are safely in Nimule and it’s time to open the boxes. The children have never seen more than three books in their life. They seem to understand intrinsically that the 35 pound boxes they are handling are worth more than their weight in gold: the first box that each boy opens reveals its contents, and – without fail – their jaws drop and eyes widen.
In their blog, Seth and Sarah write: “The library becomes a source of endless fascination and word about it spreads among all the children. Before the week is out, you can’t walk from your house to the latrine without a child running up to you to ask if it’s time to go in the library. Once that door opens, the children – girls as well as boys now – set to work unpacking boxes, stamping books, putting books into baskets and then onto shelves, and – of course – finding a few minutes here and there to read and look and wonder.” To read the rest of the story, click here.
January 2015 – The younger children at Cornerstone Children’s Home are evacuated to Uganda. Resources are low and the Home must lower the max age to 15. Many of the older children are forced to move in with extended family. The political climate of South Sudan is too unstable to warrant the shipment of more books.
On July 9, 2011 South Sudan became the world’s newest nation.
In Sudan, war and famine-related effects resulted in more than four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades.
Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace