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Refurbished Children’s Library officially reopens

The Children’s Library situated in the National Library reopened officially yesterday morning after having remained closed for more than a year.

1libraryThe reopening comes after intensive refurbishment work carried out by the Anonyme Island in collaboration with the ministry responsible for culture and various other institutions.

During the opening ceremony yesterday morning the Minister for Youth, Sports, and Culture Idith Alexander and the managing director of Anonyme Island Sammy Haress were honoured to cut the ribbons to reopen the facility.

Present to share in the children’s joy and historic moment were Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, several other ministers, ambassadors, other directors of Anonyme Island, a large group of pupils and students from different schools around the country, parents, teachers, among other guests.

To show their joy and appreciation pupils from different schools recited poems, sang patriotic songs and performed a piece of our traditional dance.

As a gesture of gratitude and a token of appreciation for the long-awaited facility, Alicia Ally, a pupil from Bel Eau primary school, presented Mr Haress a painting on behalf of all the children of Seychelles.

Addressing everyone present Mr Haress said the reopening of the Children’s Library “is the fruit of a common effort between Anonyme Island, the ministry of culture and various governmental institutions”.

“Our joint objective and mission is to empower the children of Seychelles to fulfill their potentials through edutainment,” Mr Haress said.

He noted that Anonyme Island is fortunate to have the expertise of the Children Interactive Community (CIC) part of the United Nations Development Programme which will support the implementation of this promising project.

Edutainment is the act of learning through a medium that both educates and entertains. It comprises a combination of educational games, videos, information through technology, books…

Anonyme Island has been part of the Seychellois community for nearly a decade, during which time its principals, directors and management have moved to help and assist the community with whom they have developed a strong attachment. What better way to do so, they decided, than by empowering the young children of Seychelles by providing them with non-academic programmes of educational entertainment – edutainment.

With the valued support of ministers and various governmental institutions, Anonyme has been developing programmes for the nation’s youth in collaboration with CIC.  This has been done by utilising a professional team to undertake visits to local community-oriented organisations to ascertain their needs, culminating in a workshop held at the ministry of culture in July last year.

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Guests watch as school children take part in various activities on offer at the refurbished library

The aim of these development programmes is to empower children through the application of Edutainment, the most effective educational programme yet devised.

Based on the research carried out by CIC, Anonyme Island and the culture ministry have concluded that its mission can be most effectively delivered by transforming a core community component – the children’s section of the National Library of Seychelles, from a conventional library into a modern setting custom made for children. This is now an attractive, colourful space where children, parents, educators and the community can come together.  It comprises a reading area, an IT suite, an auditorium and a research area, where children have at their disposal a wide array of educational tools.  Books, computers, traditional musical instruments and arts and crafts materials are available, as well as interactive reading and listening devices to help them to develop their interests, talents and aptitudes.

“The renovation and redesign of the children’s section of the National Library is not meant to mark the conclusion of Anonyme’s involvement with the local community but is just the beginning of our plan to extend the facilities it offers to different community centres around Seychelles based on the four pillars of social work: children, parents, educators and the community,” Mr Haress 3librarysaid.

“A library is the cornerstone of a healthy community,” Mr Haress said, a view which Minister Alexander echoed. She said libraries give children the opportunity to develop new ideas, to acquire and enhance their skills at ICT and experience the world in a different dimension through books and modern technology.

Following the opening guests toured the different sections of the newly opened library to appreciate the different features, newly added facilities, colourful furniture, watch children busy researching the internet from the two new computer areas, watch students following a PowerPoint presentation on bullying in a newly added interactive room with built-in projectors and lighting…

Anne Mary Robert, principal librarian, said the library will officially open for normal library activities and afterschool programmes on Monday, giving the staff time to finalise and organise the different activities that they are putting together for the children.

Meanwhile all the pupils present at the opening ceremony expressed their joy that the library has finally reopened and they are all looking forward to taking part in the afterschool activities.

Ms Robert said children will also be able to do their homework, research and photocopies of notes and partake in a host of new activities being planned and enjoy a batch of new exciting books.

Source : Seychelles NATION

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