JAM | May 15, 2023

WATCH | ‘Di Cawna Library’ brings reading to underserved Jamaican communities

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Di Cawna Library, located on the corner of Duff Street and Moore Street in Rose Town Kingston. (Photo: Contributed)

What started as a conversation on a street corner between Rachael McDonald and residents of the Rose Town community in Kingston, has quickly grown to become an island-wide initiative aiming at making literacy a reality for all Jamaicans.

Rachael McDonald, an education specialist and one of the originators behind Di Cawna Library, shared with Our Today the origins of the project:

“Di Cawna Library is something that evolved by accident, it’s not something I sat around the computer and envisioned. I got lost in Rose Town and I asked a group of men on the corner for directions and they led me to where I was going, -and we began conversing. I said ‘Well let’s talk, what do you want?’, and they said ‘We want books, we want them to read’,” she began.

Rachael McDonald and a community member in Rose Town chatting at Di Cawna Library (Photo: Contributed)

McDonald discovered that members of the community were very vocal about their thoughts and experiences with education. She mentioned that many residents thought the children weren’t being engaged adequately throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and felt remedial work was greatly needed.

“It’s a sustainable project that sees us reusing refrigerators and repurposing them into bookcases, so we stock these fridges with books. We have books for adults, children, schoolbooks, textbooks; a variety that facilitates a transfer of knowledge.”

Check out the video below:

Follow the journey on Instagram: @forthefunja or #dicawnalibrary

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