31 October 2013

Gateway to the world

By Margret Plank

The documentary film Gateway to the World takes place in Namibia’s capital city Windhoek, Katutura suburban area. In the film, two young library users are followed around the poor Greenwell Matongo area, where the local library functions as the people’s gateway to better life. Trevelin, 20 years, did not pass the 10th grade of schooling and ended up as one of the many out-of school youths in the area. Persuaded by a friend, he found his way to the nearby library, got interested in studying computers and is nowadays giving basic computer classes as a volunteer teacher in the library. Anna, 13 years, is a schoolgirl at the Olof Palme primary school. Every day after school she heads her way up to the Greenwell library. Anna is one of the library prefects: she helps other schoolkids with their homework and library customers in computer usage; and plays with children, for whom the library is one of the few safe havens around. All the hours spent at the library have also reflected positively to Anna’s school results, and in the future she intends to continue studying to become an engineer.

The Greenwell Matongo library was initially founded in cooperation between the cities of Windhoek and Vantaa (Finland). The target was to bring the library services down to the grassroots level. The library was opened in 2005, and today it may well be proofed, that the expectations laid for the library have even gotten exceeded. The public has embraced the library and users are so many that there is hardly enough room to accommodate everyone. Nowadays the Greenwell Matongo Library also serves as an example library to the Libraries for Development project, which started in 2012 and is administered by the Finnish Library Association. The good lessons learnt from Greenwell will thus be extended both around Namibia (20 libraries) and even to Tanzania (2 libraries in the initial phase).

The documentary is now available online and it's published with Creative commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence, so everyone can watch and share the video. Libraries, schools, etc. can even show it in their events. The documentary is available in HD format with english, swedish and finnish subtitles.

Lenght: 29 min
Language: english
Subtitles: english
Directed, written by Tuomas Lipponen
Camera operator: Panu Somerma
Editor: Petri Mäkitalo
Sound post production: Jukka Putkinen
Produced by: Kirjastokaista – Kirjastot.fi, 2013

Documentary with english subtitles

Documentary with swedish subtitles

Documentary with finnish subtitles

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