Saturday, 23 January 2016

We are still here!

After 4 years! Can't believe it has been that long!
Patrick and I are now both living in Scotland. I have been here for over 3 years now, and am a school librarian at a high school. I had a brief time working in Slave Lake in Canada. Patrick arrived here in 2013.
This year , thanks to children, parents, work colleagues and other school and public libraries in the Falkirk area we have collected about 3000 books for Sipili Community library!

Hopefully these will leave Scotland soon and be on their way to Kenya!
Is interesting being on the other side of donations! Finding places to store books, packing them up, labeling them- and importantly finding someone to transport them to Kenya.
Watch this space for new of their arrival!

Time is Scotland has been spent educating people here about Kenya- and about Africa generally. I stared a Celebrating Africa week at school every June (near The Day of The African Child) to show the good things about a wonderful continent. The media here only show the bad: corruption, famine, drought and war. Peopke need to know the good! We have storytellers, musicians, artists, authors ...anyone who really knows Africa and who can communicate their love of a great continent to others.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

IN UK...

Well, had to bite the bullet and return to UK to find a job and earn some money to save to get back to Kenya when I can. Patrick is there still to complete the Coke project and the Safaricom library in Sipili, plus complete current Little Hands projects. So much we can still do- but cant do it if I cant live!

Keep the faith! I will get back somehow and continue to make libraries for needy communities in Kenya!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

KLT-en Francais! And Super Angels girls groups...

A new article about our work- all be it but a bit out of date now!- can be found in Amina magazine, February issue this year! It was written by Joanne Maina, a journalist  who lives in Kawangware, and who writes for Amina magazine as Anjou Maina.

I went to visit Mathare North MYSA library yesterday to talk to their Super Angels girls group. They were desperate to talk about their issues: particularly about periods, love, crushes, sex- and boys. They still have very little information about all these topics which are not spoken about at school. The girls talk amongst themselves, often passing on incorrect information- particularly about methods of contraception. The girls were very open with their questions! 
Sipili Super Angels

I wish we could get a donor to help the Super Angel girls groups in all of our libraries, so we can organise speakers to talk to them about such issues. I have many lady Kenyans waiting to talk to the girls, but it involves paying transport, lunch etc- particularly to our rural libraries. They also need sanitary towels donated, which enable the girls to remain in school every day each and every month. 

We also want the girls to get to know each other in each of the KLT libraries (unfortunately Mathare North is no longer a KLT library) by visiting each other; to understand the issues of girls all across Kenya: to promote sisterhood.

If you think you can help, do let me know!

We launched Little Hands Big Steps round three at Kawangware yesterday too! I was delighted to see a 16 year old brother bringing his youngest sibling to join in! We were also able to donated 50 books for under three year olds to library stock. LHBS children are allowed to borrow books from the library. Now thirty children will have completed LHBS (after this group finishes) Kawangware needs more books for this age group, as the current books are so heavily used they are on their last legs! 

 Joan, a volunteer will be helping with this project, and hopes to start a story writing group with slightly older children too. She plans to involve her sons in this activity!

Talk soon!

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Wheels on the Bus reached Sipili!!!

Little Hands Big Steps reached Sipili on Wednesday! I only got to talk to two parents, but we had many older kids watching and learning how to use books for fun with our youngest community members- Joseph showed the other parents who arrived a wee bit later. I'm afraid the photos show me performing 'The Wheels on the Bus'!

youngsters watching and learning..

Move on to Kawangware in a few weeks- Maurice needed a bit more time to round up parents/ carers. aunties and uncles! It will be our third session of LHBS with Kawangware community members!

Picture showing our LHBS collection waiting to be used!!

Yes, the Wheels on the Bus really do go round- and we are getting places!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Return of Little Hands to Gacharage'ini!

Little ones arriving at the library
A new group of ten little ones started LHBS yesterday in Gacharage'ini KidsLibs Community Library! We even have a baby with her Daddy taking part! I managed to talk to four of the ten grown ups, and watched their faces as their smallest family members were introduced to tactile, board, and noisy books! These are the first to be used from the consignment chosen for us by Peters Booksellers in UK (funded of course by Holy Trinity and St Peters Legacy Trust in UK)

Some Mums with their little ones

LHBS will start in Sipili later this week (after some delays!) and round three at Kawangware next Saturday!


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Photos of Sipili library- with a class of kids!

Oh I LOVE this work!!! All the crap that goes on, and the worry over funding, yet

YEAY for libraries!!!!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

New Sipili Library- in pictures!

Well I am now back in Kenya, though without any funding, so am somewhat limited due to lack of finances as to what I can do!

children's area

At last we got to Sipili with a camera! It took Joseph sometime to assemble the shelving and re -organise the books- he also had a serious motorbike accident at beginning of January which didn't help! ANYWAY he is now better, and the library re opened beginning of February.

adults area
Patrick and I visited last week and took these pics! Really pleased- just need people in it!! We discovered through chatting in the town that people- in particular a local nursery school- didn't know the library existed! SOOO.. some serious promoting needs to be done!

Also we will hand over the library to the library committee in the next week or two. Their contract is ready!

The new library has a ceiling, plastered walls and loads of extra light, plus a fire exit.

reference area

Safaricom Foundation paid for the construction of the building, but the shelving was paid for my the Australian High Commission, being the original furniture given to the old Sipili library based at Lariak Primary school.
We have had many problems with some senior members of the Sipili
community, wanting to use the library for their own purposes, but hope that these are now resolved. Our library chairman is a wonderful man who has helped us so many ways. 

Unfortunately our guttering keeps being stolen so our rain harvesting has had to stop. The tank will be used for the Super Angels group project- below.

THANK YOU to everyone involved with this project!

We also have been able to restart construction of the Coco Cola Africa Foundation project for the Super Angel girls group in Sipili. This was not possible to run while I was away. We hope to get construction completed in the next month, and to start training up the girls in necessary skills shortly after that.

This project is being supervised by the library chairman and Joseph who runs the library, with professional advice from other community members. much work has been done, but none is photograph-able, being the laying of underground water pipes!

Also waiting for the arrival from UK of the new Little Hands Big Steps books! When these arrive I can make up the new bags and sessions can start in the three KLT libraries! Yeay!

We have a proposal in to Comic Relief in partnership with Village Aid in UK. Please keep all fingers and toes crossed, as this can potentially give us funding for two years, and make a further two libraries, plus develop existing KLT libraries and develop KLT projects in all our libraries.

Thanks for all support everyone!
Talk soon!