In 2008, the headmaster of the Chilena Basic School in Zambezi dreamed of developing a community library, as part of its mission to achieve academic excellence and to produce capable and intelligent leaders for the future. Seven years later, that dream became reality as the library opened its doors and a whole new world of education – with 20,000 volumes and computers – became available to community members of all ages and income levels.

Read the accounts of a student who was there to witness the literacy march and unpack boxes and boxes of books for a community that has never had a library.

In nine years leading students on intercultural servant-leadership summer course trips to Zambia, Josh Armstrong, director of Gonzaga’s Comprehensive Leadership Program, has adopted the small Zambezi community as a second family. His passion is contagious, and student-run organizations as well as Gonzaga supporters over the last several years have helped to raise funds for a library Armstrong wanted to help make possible.

“This library represents the physical product of a long friendship between GU, Chilena Basic and the whole Zambezi community,” said Armstrong during a five-hour celebration of the library’s dedication. “We heard your cries for literacy and knowledge and we are proud to walk hand-in-hand with you on this journey.”

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