Changing lives through books

2016-05-24 06:00
Anroux Marais, provincial minister of cultural affairs and sport visited John Nicholson from Hill View who runs a library from his garage for the community to see how they can help him.

Anroux Marais, provincial minister of cultural affairs and sport visited John Nicholson from Hill View who runs a library from his garage for the community to see how they can help him.

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John Nicholson (50) from Hillview says children need to be loved and given a platform to be kids.

It is for this reason that he started the Omega View community projects 10 years ago. Due to his love for children he started a soup kitchen where he was feeding kids from his area and the surrounding areas.

He then noticed that they didn’t have a library where the kids could go and read or even get help to do their homework.

That need for a library led to the birth of his library called Siyafunda – a Zulu word for “we are reading”.

Started with only 70 books in his garage today it has grown to over 7000 different books and he is grateful to the people that have helped him increase the number of books in the library.

The library is used mostly by children from Hillview, Capricon, and Overcome Heights.

“We didn’t have a library in our area and it was difficult for kids to study. I had to do something for them so that they can have a place where they can read and gain knowledge as this is very import.

“I wanted a place as well where they can get help so that they can improve their pass rate. From that idea of wanting to have a proper place for kids the library grew,” says Nicholson.

Now they are extending the library and their wish is also to have internet connection so that it will be easy for anyone using the library to do research.

“We are helping them with home work as well and we want help with internet connection so they can research and do their projects. We have kids after school from about 14:00 to 17:00.

“While they are reading we also give them a sandwich if we have. That satisfaction and smile as they walk out of the library is a good thing. It gives a joyful feeling and satisfaction that I made a change in someone’s life.”

Day after day he gets calls from people who want to help him so that he can help other kids.

Tuesday 17 May he got a visit from Anroux Marais, provincial minister of cultural affairs and sport, to see what he does and how the ministry can assist him.

Nicholson says he hopes they will help out. “She wanted to check if the library is up and running so that she can make a report of the things that we need then they will assist us. I’m very grateful of all the support and we are really hoping we get sports equipment.

“We are still in need of more books as well as we want to divide the library into sections for younger ones and the older ones.”

Part of the Omega View community project Nicholson wants to start a cycling club as well but they still don’t have equipment and they are pleading for donations.

V To donate, call Nicholson on 074 695 4191.

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