#HokiesHelpMzuni – Update

3 01 2016

Following the devastating library fire at Mzuzu University, several people and organizations have contacted me in relation to how they can help support the effort of rebuilding the university’s library. In the past week, I was forwarded an email from Hayden Boyd, the President of the Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation, that I outlines the donation process that Mzuzu University would like groups in the U.S. to follow. I have provided a copy of this email below for your reference.

Source: Dr. Mavuto Tembo

Source: Dr. Mavuto Tembo

Hello to all,

Following the devastating fire that destroyed Mzuzu University’s library, many on this list have expressed concern and willingness to help. I was privileged to serve as a research professor and director of research at the University 2002-2005, and since returning to the USA I have noted its impressive growth in size, scope, and academic quality during regular visits. The loss of the University library is a terrible setback to this progress.

Vice Chancellor Robert Ridley has written me that, despite this loss, the University intends to keep to its academic calendar and open in January for distance learning students and in March for returning face-to-face students. They are working out an interim approach over the next 12 to 24 months, as they seek to get a new library built, plus a strategy to get funds for a new library. Clearly, much needs to be done.

Dr. Ridley has asked the Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation to serve as an institutional base to promote the University’s cause, receive funds and help the University coordinate support from the USA. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax exempt foundation established for the support of Mzuzu University and other educational and children’s welfare institutions in Malawi. Our Board of Directors have all lived and worked in Malawi and I serve as the Foundation’s president.

On behalf of Mzuzu University, I invite you to help support the library’s rebuilding. Checks may be made to “Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation,” with “Mzuzu University library” in the memo field, and sent to:

Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation
507 Delburg Street
Davidson, NC 28036

All contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible under US law. One hundred percent of all donations are used for the designated purpose in Malawi, with never a deduction for administrative or overhead expenses.

Many also have suggested donating books, computers, or other items. I believe it would be wise to hold off on in-kind donations until the University informs us of its needs and logistical challenges can be addressed.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, Hayden Boyd

In a subsequent email from a colleague at Mzuzu University, I was informed that a Library Task Force committee has been created by the Vice Chancellor and University Librarian. This task force has asked each faculty member/department to develop a list of books that they would like to see included in a new library. The Library Task Force committee will liaise with the Malawi Education and Children’s Welfare Foundation as the point of contact in the U.S. I will post updates on this process as soon as I have them.

In the coming weeks, TEAM Malawi (a group of faculty and students at Virginia Tech and Radford University) will meet to discuss the actions we can take to help Mzuzu University recover from this loss. I will post information here on any activities that colleges, schools, departments, faculty, and/or students plan to undertake in the coming months.

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