Rehabilitating libraries in Russian Federation
Chechnya has long-suffered the effects of war. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in the Chechen conflicts and now, many years since the war ended, scores of buildings remain damaged.
Islamic Relief’s Education Waqf fund focuses on offering a sustainable means of education to communities. By providing training centres, repairing schools and reconstructing libraries, Islamic Relief aims to create an ongoing source of education, that will not only offer the current community the opportunity to learn but will provide generation after generation with the resources they need.
Islamic Relief is repairing the public library in the village of Vinogradnoye, Russian Federation of Chechnya.
In a country that hits sub-zero temperatures for much of the year, Vinogradnoye’s library had no heating and was in poor condition. Islamic Relief repaired the library, providing it with a heating system, and rehabilitating the damaged floorboards, entrance and walls.
Vinogradnoye’s library is now the hub of the community. The local residents not only frequent the library to borrow books, but also to socialize. Hosting both an array of literature and the village’s Cultural Centre, the library is often the venue for local educational and cultural events.
“Rehabilitating the library is a great help to us,” he explained. “We desperately need educational support to help us preserve our culture, traditions and identity.”
“There are 3,200 people living here and we only have this public library. Before the repairs, people would go to our only school library, and, usually, all they have to read there are school books.” Zaurbek explained that because his village is isolated from others, residents find it difficult to preserve their culture.
The library also serves as a sanctuary and a hangout for teenagers. “We have young people who idle around and young boys who don’t know how or where to channel their energy,” said Zaurbek.
“The Cultural Centre is the only place in the village where they can entertain themselves, there’s lots of national music and young people can socialize with one another, under the supervision of adults.”
Zaurbek used to worry that without entertainment that is appropriate for youths, they might have resorted to abusing drugs or alcohol or joining gangs.
“On behalf of all the people of Vinogradnoye, I would like to thank Islamic Relief and all the donors who supported this project. For us, it has been of great help.”