Friersdale’s prize-winning library

Friersdale in the Northern Cape is a small hamlet on the banks of the Orange River, roughly between Keimoes and Kakamas.

Friersdale’s prize-winning library
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It’s bordered by lush green vineyards on the one side and the stark and foreboding Kalahari dessert on the other. It’s here that my friend Delene Moller, a farmer’s wife from Kakamas, runs her community library, which was recently named as the best in the province for 2012. 

Her love for the children of Friersdale is overwhelming. Her library isn’t merely a place where the young ones can get access to books, it’s a place to learning life skills and where hope for the future is fostered.

Delene’s goal is to teach the young ones to believe in themselves and their own potential. To break free from the shackles of poverty and the effects thereof, such as teenage pregnancies, alcoholism and drugs. It’s her self-appointed mission to convince them to break the cycle of destitution and hardship their forebears, mainly farm workers, were subject to.

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Delene Moller

The library is housed in a cheerful little blue-and-white building just across the street from the local Catholic Church. This is where Delene plays with the kids; where she fusses over them and makes them feel happy and wanted. The make-up box keeps them busy for hours, as does the box of toys.

It goes without saying that the value of reading and a love of books are continuously impressed upon the kids.

Education is paramount and Delene has decided to use the prize money accompanying the award to acquire a range of all the handbooks for the 2013 school year. This is, in my opinion, the epitome of dedication. Don’t you agree?

The cheery little library is situated between lush green vineyards and caters mostly for farm workers’ children.

And Delene is just one of many, many farmers’ wives who work their fingers to the bone for their respective communities. These are the unsung heroes of agriculture, bringing relief to the poor and looking after the sick and the destitute.

In fact, you could say they bring Christmas to the needy right through the year by simply caring and loving and providing.

And now, I wish you and yours a blessed time of rest, and may the Good Lord bless and keep you, as we welcome 2013!

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Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.