Green Forest UMW collects books

Friday, May 4, 2007
Yvonne Herron, at left, shows some on the National Geographic magazines being donated to a library in Bunda,?Tanzania, by First United Methodist Church of Green Forest. Also shown are Sarah Mahoney, Vivian Tusing, One Book Foundation Board Vice President Martha Albright and Beth Stafford. E. Alan Long / Carroll County News

GREEN FOREST -- Four hundred discontinued books from the Green Forest Library have been donated to the work of Methodist missionaries Rev. Charles and Karen Wiggins in Bunda,?Tanzania, for use in a library.

The local project was spear-headed by the United Methodist Women as part of an effort of the Northwest Arkansas District of United Methodist Church to collect 700 boxes of books for use in a government donated building in the northern region of the East African country. The building houses the only public library in the region.

The books were picked up Tuesday by Martha Albright of Fayetteville, and will be shipped to Rev. and Mrs. Wiggins. Books collected were in good condition, and included children's books, encyclopedias, large print Reader's Digest books, histories, biographical works, science and nature books, and arts and crafts books.

Text books and references are no more than 10 years old. The arts and crafts books were sought due to the number of home-based businesses in?Africa.

Books that propagate certain religious or political points of view, as well as romance novels, were not collected for shipment.

In return for the old books from the Green Forest Library, the Green Forest UMC donated $50 to the library.

The Bunda project is part of the One Book Foundation's efforts to supply English language books to the mission field. As of April 16, Rev. and Mrs. Wiggins had received 76 boxes of books from the Northwest Arkansas District, with 34 boxes, not counting the ones from?Green?Forest, in transit.

Rev. and Mrs. Wiggins have a long history in Northwest Arkansas, having ministered for several years in the area, including Eureka Springs, Winslow. Rogers and Fayetteville.

The couple is building a multiple structure Methodist Leadership and Training Institute with accommodations for for those attending workshops, seminars and training sessions. The Bunda mission has 25 lay preachers who have had no training, and five pastors needing continuing education. Sanitation and hygiene training for villagers is also needed

The institute was started in 2005, and only recently have library facilities been built -- a library without books.

The books will be used by teachers as well as for recreational reading purposes, and include hardcover textbooks from pre-school through college, along with teacher's manuals, medical and nursing textbooks, academic journals, Bibles, anything with subject matter relating to to an?African reader, along with school supplies, relatively new maps and globes, and clear contact paper to strengthen soft-cover books.

The need for English language books is pronounced, with many teachers having very limited use of the language and primarily using Swahili. Further, tests for upper level public school, equivalent to the eighth grade, are conducted in English.

For more information about the One Book Foundation, visit the Web site at www.geocities,com/books4bunda/books4bunda, or e-mail One Book Foundation Vice President Martha Albright at, telephone (479) 442-9975.

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