Sunday, 21 December 2008

Merry Christmas! and heres to more centres in the New Year!!!

Well, finally have a car again!!! A matatu (small bus) hit me over two weeks ago, and after much palava getting poice abstracts, and insurance assessors to the right garage, I FINALLY have my car back!! YEAY!!! I actually had to hire a car to take a lady from Safaricom Foundation to see to of the centres last week.. the only car I could get was a Toyota corolla.. this was fun trying to navigate the holes and trenches of Mathare North! As we were asking Safaricom to donate a 4 wheel drive vehicle, it was - I suppose!- quite appropriate as she saw the need!! I have been riding matatus to meetings in the meanwhile!

KLT STUFF. We are still trying to get duty exemption status! Neil- our accountant- is working on this for us.

KLT UK. Stil hoping to become a charity in the UK. I have a meeting with a lady this week who may know someone in the UK who is willing to take this on.Fingers crossed!!!

KLT CENTRES . Most of the centres are closing from Christmas eve until January 4th. Sipili is opening some days in between!

KLT LEAFLET. Still hoping to get a meeting with Colourspace to see if they may help with this. Is really important now to have a leaflet we can give out to prospective donors.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR to all donors, staff and friends of KidsLibs Trust!!!!!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Well a lot happening here for those interested!
We moved Kawangware centre to its new premesis 2 weeks ago now! This is the new children's library- story section! Nice n bright and cheerful!! We had helpers from the proposed Kasarani centre, and from the proposed Gilgil centre!

Adults fiction section

Kawangware is still trying to find means to become sustainable.. any offers?? They want to either start a radio station, or a cyber cafe... with cyber cafe will need at least 10 - 15 computers donating, complete with UPS, software etc...

KidsLibs Trust office now is complete!!! We now have in addition to the printer and laminator a DESK TOP COMPUTER - donated by the Pandit family-! We also now have funds to purchase a guillotine. Just need a filing cabinet..

Bakewell Rotary Club is sending us £500 to purchase a camcorder (plus tapes, plus memory sticks etc)! This is greatly needed to record library activities and events! I hope this will arrive with us before Chirstmas so we can get the camcorder soon and start recording!!!

Neil Jones is now our accountant, and is working for us for free!!!Also his son- Mike who works for Colourspace advertising agency- has made us 600 business cards for free!!! MANY thanks!!

Maili Saba is coming along nicely! The staff are so keen to get open by January!

Ken, Douglas, and Simon

Fundraiser 2008!!
On December 5th KidsLibs Trust held our first ever ice cream and books fundraiser! It was all organised by Susan Phillips- our newest Trustee and held at her house! Kids form Mathare North girls rap group performed, as did the drams group, who performed a drama written about how the post election violence was viewed by the children living in the slums of Nairobi. Very moving. Unfortunately not many people came, but we hope the ones who did will be the ones who may help us!!

Sipili November 2008.. the school for the deaf drama group performed for us! Here is the video of their performance! Anne goes back to Sipili on December 16th with a representative from the Girlchild Network. They will talk to a group of girls in Sipili about girl issues. We hope that this group of girls will become a permanent group, so we can send guest speakers to talk to them, and inspire them to become all they can be.

Wanna Be a Trustee??
We need another new Trustee! Smita is no longer able to be our chair, so we need someone willing to take on the role!

OK thats it for now!!! Talk soon!!!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

HI All!

Well, November has arrived!!!

KidsLibs now has an accountant! neil Jones in Nairobi is now doing our accounting for us.. which is a great relief!!!

Paterson Foundation also are supporting us! They are sending a one off donation of $10,000USD!!! thank you ! thank you!

Susan Philips is working on a fund raiser for KLT on December 5th.. Looks like an opportunity to enjoy books- and your favourite ice cream!!! hope people will donate their money as well as their time to support us!

Maile Saba is progressing nicely!! the guys are now pretty much perfect cataloguing Junior fiction books! they have completed the Junior fiction (yellow labels), blue labels (younger fiction), green lables (story collections) and are making their way through the picture books (pink lables)!

Anne visited Mathare North library on Saturday, where the drama group and the hip hop group and the girls RAP group all performed!!!! WOW!!!! They were awsome!!! I managed to video them , so when the website is eventually available you will be able to watch their performance on the site!

Anne and Patrick visited Eastleigh centre today, where THEIR drama group performed!!! There is so much talent out there! the group is also the bookreading club, who help in the library, keeping the books in order etc.

We have alSo visited the new possible site for the Kasarani centre. However, we are working on approaching the Ministry of Education to donate FREE OF RENT a building through CDF finding... watch this space!!!

Kawangware centre we are still trying to find sustainability before moving in to the new building. I am hoping this will be resolved by the end of today! We are still waiting to hear from Safaricom Foundation as to whether they will pay for further shelving as we expand, and pay for 6 months sustainability whilst WFF (the CBO who run the library) finds their own source of income. Dr Gitu (chairman of the CDF committee for the building) is being very supportive!

Sipili centre (Laikipia West area) are still wonderful! We took one of the KLT Trustees there last week, with some other interested parties! The children from the school for the deaf performed again .. this time I got them on video!! We need 6 sheets of mubati (corrogated iron sheeting) to repair the roof, and further work to create a veranda roof to protect shoes during the rains. We are also now quite hopeful that a new libary committee will be in existance before the end of the year! YEAY!!!

We are in talks with the Ministry of Education re adults education, and starting classes in all of our centres. Will keep you up to date on this! They have also suggested contacting the Ministry for Youth for funding for youth issues, also the Book Development council... I have meetings next week with both!!

Still pursuing the Girlchild Network to come to our next meeting to discuss Girlchild issues.. really needed for Sipili particularly

Talk soon!!! Sitting in Java coffee house (free internet!)! ned to go home!!!


Thursday, 9 October 2008

October developments!

Kawangware , Nairobi update! We went to see the proposed new library room on Tuesday. This is it!! It is upstairs, and is huge!! We WFF has put a proposal in to the CDF committee for this room for the library, plus a further two rooms to run two sustainability projects: 1 is a radion station, and the other a cyber cafe. We are waiting for their reply.
Maile Saba, Nairobi is continuing to develop! Staff training is continuing, and we are all still learning!!! Will take some photos next week!
Sipili, Laikipia West. Anne is going to visit again next week. The rains have started and we have been told the roof is leaking, so we need to go to assess the situation! Also resolve electricity divider (from school). George Nderitu from MYSA will also be coming! He hopes to see the school for the deaf perform, as well as talk to Joseph and John about drama, music, and peer education of HIV Aids, children's rights etc.
Eastleigh MYSA centre, Nairobi. Anne is visiting next week, and will take photos of the new look centre! We are also trying to divide the adults fiction by genre as in Sipili centre.
Mathare North MYSA centre, Nairobi is continuing with their many activities, including a debate group (debating the pros and cons for rural life versus urban life) and a hip hop group! We have also found one child who has sight difficulties, so we are providing books in large print.
KidsLibs Trust has purchased a laminator and printer for their office.This will enable all centres to print their monthly reports, KLT to print out agendas, minutes, etc. The laminator will mainly be used to create library guiding for all centres. Currently we have to pay large amounts to get this done commercially.
A desk top computer is arriving in the next week or two, so the office will be fully functional- at last! MANY thanks to Sara Lee for their continued support!
Anne is visiting a possible new CBO partner tomorrow. They are located in Kasarani area of Nairobi (Mathare Valley).
Talk next week!!!!

Monday, 29 September 2008


Well, have been back a while now, and things moving along!!! Still waiting for the website to be up and active!! Should be soon now!!

Eastleigh has received their donation from Eastleigh UK, when Joshe and I went to choose Africa Collection materials (books written by African writers, or about Africa, or in African languages) a few weeks ago!! THANK YOU EASTLEIGH UK!!! Eastleigh Nairobi has also re organised all of thier rooms!!! It is SO much better.. much more space! ALSO MYSA opened their cyber cafe in their Eastleigh offices TODAY!!!! Not part of KidsLIbs library, but still a great initiative for the community!!

Kawangware: Well, we are trying to move building! The centre theere has proved SOOOO popular that we really need to move to bigger premises. Also the landlord has increased the rent.... We think we have found a room which may be donated using CDF funds (comunity development fund, controlled by local MP). Here's hoping!!! WFF and KLT are putting a proposal together, and hpe to be successful! We then will try to find a donor to purchase more shelving, carpeting etc.

UKENYA, Kayole. Still not signing on to KidsLIbs. Sad as they are losing out on so many benefits! theyt may yet change their minds!!!

Mathare North is ticking over well!! Still processing a lot of new stock!!!

Sipili, Laikipia West. I went ot visit them 2 weeks ago, and th ecentre still looks great!!! Joseph is blossoming!!! the school for the deaf (which ia next door to our centre) performed a drama for us... which has led to us needing to purchase a digital video camera to record such events to put onto our new website!!! The chairs for this centre are now safely in place, Still need to organise the library committee into a working group for the benefit of the community. John is also still coordinating the drama group! So much potential here!! Will return in October to talk to new head of Lariak Primary school, and to Joseph about class visits.

Maile Saba. Training is progressing here. I think we MAY be able to open in December all going well!!! New shelving is being constructed, as shelving that was made was of extremely poor quality.

Githurai, Well 3 years on Githurai is STILL not ready for stock!! The floor is still not completed, or the ceiling- it leaks-. Watch this space!!! MYSA has the stock for Githurai housed at Eastleigh currently.

KidsLibs Trust. Well, Sara Lee have given us an office! They are also suppplying all the furniture for us! Hpe this will be ready this week. Smita Pandit (chair of KLT Trust) has donated a desktop computer for th eoffice. Anne is trying to find a good printer and laminator this week to complete the office. If we find a good printer we may be able to print out new business cards- which are too expensive to get made (last ones were donated!) and even a leaflet about KLT!!!

Anne now has a salary set up, and is trying to organise accountants, audits etc both for the Trust and for her!!!


Digital Camcorder.
bikes for each centre to collect newspapers
Vehicle for KLT which is strong and durable
funding for new centres
funding to create Africa collections in all centres
funding to employ P.A for Anne (he is currently unpaid)
CURRENT information books!
method of transporting book donations form across the planet to our centres
a tractor for sustainability of Sipili centre in Laikipia West(adults AND kids!)

Talk soon!!!!


Wednesday, 3 September 2008

I'm Back!!!

Am back in Kenya!!!! HAVE A WONDERFUL DONOR who wish to remain anonymous, but who want us to have a better world... doesnt get much better than that!!!!

Have been back for a week, and now have a place to live!!

Have been to one libraries meeting already, had a meeting in Gilgil re new centre there (actually saw possible site to build the new centre!!). Have visited Eastleigh (todday) and was very impressed with Joshe's new arrangement... he has expanded into 4 rooms now... 2 for adults, and two for kids!

Have visited Maile Saba, and have started training with the guys there!

Alos started sorting stock currently housed at Sara Lees.

Visiting Githurai on Monday, and Kawangware on Wednesday!


Saturday, 2 August 2008


hI aLL!!

Well, still no donor despite sending loads of letters and E mails, and fretting over variuos proposals, re writing them, and then again ... and then again!!!

Discovered UK runs on burocracy ...

Want to get back to my Kenya to get my libraries back on course, n get more open!!!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Hi All!

Well, Anne is in UK trying DESPERATELY to find donors to get her back to Kenya to keep making community based information centres in Kenya!! There are another two centres waiting to be made this year and I cant make them form Bakewell, Derbyshire!!!

I have given one talk already here, and am due to give a second on July 9th to Bakewell Rotary Club, who have helped the Trust in the past. I have been scanning Web, and asking other africa based projects for ideas on finding donor funding.


While I am in the UK I hope to be able to go to talk to people direct, instead of just sending E mails!!!


I have contacted Massey Fergusson re donating a tractor to Sipili centre, as we could hire out the tractor- with our own driver- and use the profit to maintain the centre. It may even be possible to start building our purpose built centre there with the money, as tractors are badly needed there.

I am contemplating contacting local farmer groups to twin somehow with farmers in Laikipia. Here is a big farming area: Bakewell has an agricultural centre where cattle and other livestock are sold every monday.

I am told Sipili centre, Laikipia West is being well used!!! People are flocking in!!! YESSSS!!!!

Despite a few hiccups the first KidsLibs staff meeting happened today! Patrick took my car for service too, as he is still using it to collect book donations etc.

Bakewell Library (free!!!) is letting me use their computer internet access for free.. this is available to everyone!!! One day our centres will be able to offer this..... ONE DAY!

I have discovered that many companies here will only consider helping if we are registered as a charity in UK.SOO I hope to do this whilst I am here! I need someone to be the coordinator though... ANY VOLUNTEERS?? When we are a registered charitiy we can then apply to Comic Relief among others, Who are ideal for what we need!!!



Anne who wants to get back to Kenya ASAP!!!!!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Sipili Centre open and running!!!!

Well today we opened KidLibs Centre number 5!!! Sipili Community Library is now open to the public!!
After planning on having an unofficial opening rather than a big official one, it still took two hours of speeches and performances!!!

BUT these were wonderful!!!

The mural on the library wall painted by John Githuri

The chairman of the library committee Mr Kikrop, the ex chairman of Lariak Primary School Mzee Karanja, and the present chair of Lariak Primary school, Benjamin all spoke.. also Michael the current secretary.. wh
o managed to bring the last of our chairs!! Children from our drama group performed several sketches and poems, and big children from Lariak Day Secondary School performed some wonderful poems and skits dealing with library, knowledge etc.

Visitors came from Nairobi, representing Mathare North centre (Steve), Eastleigh centre(Joshe), Kawangware centre (Jackson) and from Maile Saba- who should be next to open!!!!- Kennedy. Alos Susan Phillips came, who runs our bookclubs and pen pal clubs at Kawangware, and ran the creative writing group 'Trading Fives' at Mathare North last year.All were duelly impressed with our beautiful new library here in Sipili!!! Steve and Kennedy helped Joseph enrol 36 members, with many more waiting to enrole in the next few days!!!
Sipili kids drama group

Thank you to all who came and all who saw, and all who took part!!!!

OFF to Nairobi 2moro, for meetings Sundaty and Monday, before flying to UK on Monday night... My home is Sipili, Kenya.. my spirit roams free here!!!!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Count down to opening Sipili centre....

Greetings all!! Returned from monthly visit to Nairobi yesterday (thursday 28th May), and monthly staff meeting of all centres' staff! Joseph from Sipili came down on the 3am bus and came to his first meeting!!! Tanx to Steve, Charles and everyone for looking after him!!

I collected a STACK of donations whilst I was there!!!
  • A box for books from IOM's Lara Quartermain,
  • a set of encyclopaedias from Mrs Usha Patel,
  • several boxes fo books from Akla Shah and her son
  • a catalogue drawer unit from ISK and Barbera Jones , elementary school librarian
  • 6 gallons of exterior paint from BASCO Paints and Mr Mital Shah for our mural in Sipili!
The catalogue drawers are now filled and in Sipili library! The paint is also delivered, and the boxes of books safely stowed at Sara Lee in my office. My poor little car did struggle with the weight of it all, as I was also carrying my German Shepherd dog!!

I REALLY need a laminator donating guys. I was unable to laminate the signs for the new library due to the expanse of getting them done commercially.... CAN ANYONE HELP???

On June 4th EABS Bank
and Mercantile Insurance are donating 50,000/- to KidsLibs Trust!!!! I am unable to attend, so Steven from Mathare North and his wife Peggy will be receiving the cheque on behalf of KidsLibs Trust!! The function is at the Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi. Thank you so much EABS and Mercantile for your continued support!!!!

Eastleigh School in the UK is donating money to Eastleigh library!!! We dont know how much, but we know it is coming, and it will be spent of creating an Africa Collection.



Hey! Have I mentioned
new website address???? is:- Will soon have a new look too, as a friend (Susan Phillips) and her friend in USA (Jeremy) are re designing it!!! Watch the site space!!! It really needs updating, but cant do much till re design in place! We do however all have new E mail addresses you can contact us on! I am You can also use, or Each individual centre will have its own address soon!!

Latterday Saints Church Wheelchairs
3 beautiful brand spanking new wheelchairs are now located in Kawangware centre (1) and in Sipili Centre (2)! We have another three to receive from LDSC, which will be located in Githurai centre (2) Eastleigh centre (1) and another centre in the future.. possibley Gilgil.

Sipili Centre
Sipili Centre is nearly complete!! Joseph and I are finishing cataloguing the last of the Adults non fiction stock. The children's drama group (age 7 - 14 years) has written and rehearsed a short play for our opening on the 7th June, and a local writer has written a poem about our library, which one of the children will perform at the opening! More and more people are now popping thier heads around our dor to see what we are doing, and to ask for information on opening etc. Joh, a local artist, has designed a wonderful mural to paint on the whole side to the library building! It will depict Mount Kenta, the rural environment, and the peoples of the area, as well as the library and the activities we plan to do... Will post a piccie when I have one!!!

and Braeburn bookclub has had their second meeting! Their first books was'The Outsiders' by S.E. Hinton. Book number two is 'Burn my Heart' by Beverley Naidoo. I hope to have a report on this by my next post!! Other clubs will start in September approximately as schools return form their long break. (Eastleigh and Mathare North). Still trying to find a partner school for Sipili. UKenya cnetre, in Kayole is no longer a KidsLibs Centre so they cannot participate in this wonderful opportunity.

Susan Phillips has also started a Penpals club wit Kawangware cente intitially. The children from Kawangware are writing to children of their age in the USA! Will see how this develops before introducing at other centres!!

Dat's it for now!!! Talk soon!!!


Sunday, 11 May 2008

May n blogging around wid elephants!!

Well, still in Sipili in Laikipia west... had eli's through a few nights ago... well only about 10metres from my bedroom!!!
Library looks great!!! Still crap library committee, who are STILL trying to use it for advancement- either financially or for social status. They were
supposed to have a meeting 3 weeks ago to sort out their committee.... still no meeting still no committee... and we open in 3 weeks!!!! ARGHHHH!!!! Have to hope SOMEONE wants to benefit their community rather than only themselves!!

childrens lib May 08

childrens information area May 08

Ho hum!!

Was in Nairobi (no elephants) last weekend for KT birthday. Did a lot of work type stuff too! Trying to find someone who will donate exterior paint, so we can paint a mural on the wall of Sipili library... ANY IDEAS???

Had a meeting in GILGIL on the way back, and looks like there may be a donor there willing to build a library! Will keep u posted!! (Saw an eagle owl... HUGE big beasty sitting in a tree in a wood as we had our meeting!)

Sipili getting even greener as maize, potatos etc really growing fast. I s thundering now, and rain hammering on my mubati roof (corrugated iron) till I cant hear at all!! The light outside is awsome tho! Silver...
No walk for Kimbe and I this evening tho!

Talk soon!!


Still trying to find a means of staying here to make libraries for ever... or at least the next few years to start!! I have 3 weeks until I have to return to UK to try to find donors.
Maile Saba centre now has their books, and Joshe from MYSA is doing his best to organise them. I hope to get down to see the libu on 27th May and at least offer some advice before leaving. I should be there twice a week at this stage.. or by the time Sipili opens.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

As promised!!! Photos of Laikipia Community library with carpet down!!

.....This is the adults library

We need to buy some carpet tape to seal joins etc. We didnt QUITE have enough
carpet, so the adults library still has a delightful concrete floor near the ref section and National Geographic. Countries sections.

This is the children's Library. Children immediately started lying on the carpet and getting comfortable!!

This is the children's storybooks/ fiction section. We do hope to find some more money to get some notice boards made, so we can display children's work on the walls.

There is still a lot of work to do in th eadults library... cataloguing the fiction catagories :- Romances are complete, just Thrillers, Horror, Science Fiction/ Fantasy, Westerns, and General fiction left to do!! Also all of the Non Fiction... IT WILL BE DONE by 7th June!!!

Tlak next week!!!


Saturday, 12 April 2008

Anne living in Sipili, Laikipia West making libs!!

Hello and happy new year!!

Well, a less safe Kenya than it was. Alll of our libraries/ centres survived the violence. Our staff did not fair quite so well. Stephan and Charles in Mathare North centre both lost everything, their houses being burnt down and all their worldly goods destroyed.

Align Center

is now

We are still hoping for a peaceful solution to all of the problems here. God willing the wonderful Kenyan people will see sense, and realise that they are all Kenyans.Charles and Stephan despite everything both were going into the Mathare valley talking peace to community members. Things in Mathare are now quiet, although rents have increased. Charles is still living in the library, but Stephan, -thanks to a donation from a very kind Janie Ellerby - enabled him to pay rent for 6 months in a safer place,


During all of this KidsLIbs Trust managed to open a new centre, in Kawangware slum area in Nairobi!!! Over 200 children came, and their parents - from every tribal origin-. They all danced and sang together... it was a joy to see and watch! It just goes to show that our centres encourage tolerance and reconciliation!
This was inspirational!!

The next library is Sipili in Laikipia West.

The books were transported to Laikipia (Sipili), and work started in October. Anne was visiting every two weeks as funds allowed.. I Work had to stop for several months though during the post election violence experienced all over Kenya.

Well, since end of Feb I have been living in Laikipia! It is the best- and cheapest!- way of getting the library here open before hell freezes over!! I was battling with an inert library committee, and staff who are only there for the money!

Not now! I have got rid of the two money minded staff, leaving me with two guys who are working really well - and for the right reasons!! Geoffry and Joseph are wonderful! We have very nearly finished the childrens's library- by wed of next week it should be done!! -. and are already making headway with the adults library!

We will open on June7th

Well, I have found 2 guys to do drama (kids and adults) - both now working on something for the opening... did I say that was on JUNE 7TH???? and John who wants to run art classes! All for free of course! See?? Good people exist everywhere!!

The fundi ( carpenter!) completed the 6 new shelf units this week, and they are now in their new positions in the library... and it looks GREAT!!!! The adults library particularly looks like the business!!! Am taking photos tomorrow as...

we put the carpet down tomorrow!! Carpet donated by East African Womens League (EAWLS). Bakewell Rotary Club, UK. paid for it to be transported from Nairobi to Sipili. They also paid for the new shelving AS WELL as paying for my rent, food fuel etc to be here in Laikipia making the library!!

thank you Bakewell Rotary Club, UK!!!

ALSO LDS Churches have donated KidsLibs Trust centres 6 brand sparkelling new wheelchairs for use by library users in Laikipia (2), Githurai (2) Eastleigh(1) and one for our next centre. The idea being that wheelchair bound users come to the centres in their own chairs, then move to our indoor chairs to use the centres!

Talk tomorrow!!!