Lion

An update from Little Zebra director, David Ker:

It’s Monday morning. I’m sitting at my desk frantically trying to catch up with the deluge of Little Zebra work that is going on. I told myself this year that we would try to keep things small and start slowly. And that has been a good thing. It has allowed us to produce really quality work and learn from our mistakes on a small scale. But in the last month things have been taking off at an almost exponential rate and I am excited and terrified at how well Little Zebra Books is doing.

A Nyungwe proverb says that when the lion has no meat he eats grass. This means that sometimes we have to make do with what we have. Our project is a bit like the vegetarian lion. The good news is that despite limited funding and personnel our work is thriving in Africa.

  • Our distribution intern in Veronica continues to surprise and delight us with her talents and initiative. Children have started following her around and coming to her house asking for stories and books.
  • In a remote village in Mozambique a Peace Corps volunteer caught a child reading one of our Nyungwe books during her English class. She couldn’t bring herself to reprimand the girl!
  • Jeni Bister, our Nyungwe coordinator is meeting with top provincial leadership to discuss expanding our Nyungwe project to include a Chewa project.
  • Four Malawians in Cape Town are translating Little Zebra stories into their own language Chichewa.
  • Four different projects in Mozambique have started translating our materials and making plans to start producing their own books.
  • We have entered into an agreement with the African Storybook Project to publish all our stories on their website which will allow them to be translated into dozens of languages across Africa.
  • Almost a dozen artists are at work creating artwork for new Little Zebra books.
  • All our books will soon be available in Portuguese.

Phew! What an amazing amount of progress we have made so far this year.

Thank you to everyone who has given to this project so far in 2014. Without our generous donors our efforts would be really hindered.

Right now we are embarking on a major funding project. We have hired a professional grant-writer to help us find the money that will allow this project to grow and thrive. We are also going to start an online fund-raising campaign to help the four new Mozambican projects get off the ground.

Our biggest need at the moment is some talented people who can take some of the workload off me so that I can finish my Masters thesis.

Another area where we are really struggling is in shipping. I still haven’t been able to find a reliable way to ship our books to Mozambique from Cape Town. For example, we have an urgent request for Scripture portions in the Nyungwe language but we don’t have a good way to get them delivered.

Remember, the best place to keep up on Little Zebra is through our Facebook page. You can access it even if you’re not on Facebook. Click here: Little Zebra Books on Facebook.”

Thanks for reading and for spreading the news about the Little Zebra project.

The Vegetarian Lion