Friday, 20 February 2009

February blah!

Hey everyone! Hope all well out there in the Big World! A few things happening here. Have a read! ESPECIALLY watch out for re launch of new website due by 1st March!!! Meanwhile...

Sipili, Laikipia West.

January 2009. We have been able to donate a collection of African materials to Sipili in February, after requests from community members. These should go into stock in February, in addition to the final numbers of Encyclopaedia Britannica! We are still trying to find sustainability for this centre. Joseph is still working 6 days a week for no pay. Two people in the UK are trying to find us a tractor with a plough. If we are able to get a tractor donated we can hire it out with our own driver, and with the profit sustain the library.

A mzee has been coming to the library to tell stories and teach songs to the children every Saturday! Also the drama group is still meeting every Saturday. We are still hoping to start a girl child group here as soon as we get funding (see ‘possible future KLT projects’).

A new library committee is nearly in place. There are still some details to sort out, but we are hopeful these will be resolved soon. The new committee is keen to pursue the building of a purpose built library on the ground the community previously donated.

Membership: 644.

Use in January: children who used the library 220 . Adults who used the library 172 .

Stock:- Adults 2552 Children’s 2851

Kawangware, Nairobi

January 2009 has seen some major changes. WFF were unable to find sustainability for the centre after Safaricom funding finished in January, so it has now been taken over by Dagoretti Empowerment Centre, who also manage the building where the library is now housed. DEC have agreed to pay the rent, power and staff for an initial period of 4 years! WFF will still have a representative in the new library committee who will administer the library, and 3 of their staff will still run the library. KLT will continue to support this centre as always!

Bookclub. The bookclub has already had its first meeting for the year with Braeburn primary school! The group looked at


Membership total:

Use: children who used the library January . Adults who used the library January .

Mathare North (a MYSA centre)

January 2009. We now have a working TV areal (donated by KLT) so are able to watch KTN educational programmes at the library (including ‘Art Attack’). The TV and DVD player donated some time ago by a lady form Peponi House school are being well used to run music for the Rap and Hip Hop groups to dance to.

Mathare North drama group performed for the representatives from the Ministry for Youth Affairs. The children also questioned the visitors about what they would do for the children who live in Mathare North area 4.

A local Mzee is also teaching the children informally about the history of Kenya as a Nation within Africa. Is it so good to have local community participation.

Membership: 5,667 TOTAL

Children who used the library in January: 785

Adults who used the library in January: 359

Stock: children’s :- 2,467 Adults: 1, 649 TOTAL: 4,116

Eastleigh (a MYSA centre)

November 2008.

Africa collection has been purchased through the donation of money from a school in Eastleigh in the UK!! When Maili Saba has finished with Eastleigh’s typewriter we can get these catalogued and onto the shelves!

Adults fiction categories and new children’s sections. The adult’s fiction is now fully categorised. It now has Romances, Horror, War, Thrillers, Science Fiction and Fantasy, and general Adults fiction. We have also created a teenage section, but are awaiting more shelving before this can be made available to the users of the library. It will be located between the adults and children’s rooms. We also now have a first readers section

Class Visits to the library. This month we had only two class visits to the library. This was because, after we refurbished the library and re opened it was in the middle of national school exams.


Book reading club: After being closed for several weeks the children are now back into their routines. This group help to keep the library organised and tidy, as well as participate in book reading activities.

Drama Group: The Drama group is currently working on a drama entitled:- Men abuse on the Women

Art, Drawing and Painting: Most of the children from here have now joined MYSA Haba Na Haba group, and are working from their premises

Computer groups. 50 children were trained on basic computer skills


We need more shelves! More stock! Books need to be repaired, and children taught how to handle books,

Membership total: 6070

Use in November: 480- most being children

Stock: 4952

Maili Saba (a MYSA centre)

January 2009. The staff here have been working hard to get all the stock processed, in the hope of opening in February! We are still waiting for carpeting and the rest of the shelving and the catalogue drawers before we can open!! Should be early March I think!!!

Githurai (a MYSA centre)

January 2009. The ceiling and floor still need to be completed here, before the carpet and shelving can go into this wonderful new building! Then the books can go in, THEN staff training can begin THEN we can start counting down to opening at last!!!

Possible New Centres

Ngong Town. We have been approached by a lady who owns a small building in Ngong town, and she is keen to put it to use! KLT has been to see the site, and the potential for a children’s library is very great. Because the building is on a piece of land with some space it may be able to set up a chicken farm as a sustainability project close to the library. We also may be able to create a gardening club, digging a small shamba which library members learn how to cultivate, and maybe even sell their produce or just take it home.

Gilgil. We are hoping to start the library in Gilgil this year. The Sonata Trust hopes to start building their community centre at the end of this year. We are hoping to find a temporary site for the library, where books can be processed and staff training started, so all stock can be ready when the new library is built. The residents of Gilgil are trying to organise this.

Kasarani/ Zimmerman, Nairobi. ICEI are very keen to get their project started. They have been attending our monthly meetings for some time now. They and KLT have been sending out proposals for funding (both for setting up the library, and for setting up their sustainability project), but no luck as yet.


Donations January 2009

Kenya Popat Family Several boxes of books

Kenya Rosslyn Academy Many boxes of Books

UK Bakewell Rotary Club £500 to purchase camcorder (plus case, wires etc!)

USA Paterson Family Foundation cheque cleared!

Office News January 2009

KLT office now has a guillotine (courtesy of funds raised at the fundraiser in December2008), in addition to the computer (donated by the Pandit family in December last year), printer and laminator! We have already made replacement shelf guiding for Mathare North!

New Subject Index. This has been updated as we have been classifying Maili Saba! It is now available on the computer, and can be printed out for all centres.

KLT General update

Leaflet/ Brochure. This is designed. We are just waiting for a donor to pay for us to get it printed!

Vehicle. We are still waiting for a definitive reply from Safaricom whether they will give us a suitable vehicle!

Accounts. Neil Jones Accountants have sorted out KLT accounts for us for free. This has included organising Pin numbers, PAYE for tax, and applying for duty exemption on behalf of KLT. THANK YOU!!! It is good to know that all our administration needs are in good hands!!

Website design. Ian MacKay and Susan Philips have been working closely on this for the last several weeks, and there is light at the end of the tunnel!! The site should go live in the next week or two!! It is looking SO good!

KLT DVD. Clare is still keen to do this, but we still have no funding for editing and production costs. Still hoping someone will take this on! We have sent proposals out to several organisations.

Staff Training

Anne held a staff training session on ‘Storytelling using books written in English’ on February 11th. Staff from Maili Saba, Eastleigh and Kasarani attended.

Mary is continuing to train all our staff in the use of sign language at our monthly meetings. She was concerned that what she is teaching is actually being used by the staff.

Possible Future KLT Projects.

Girlchild Safe places. Whilst we were setting up the library in Sipili, Anne lived there for 3 months, and became aware of the plight of girls. Most girls here have no ambitions beyond becoming mothers and raising a family- as their mothers did before them. They are still often married off as young as 12 years of age, to men over the age of 45. Here female circumcision is still common, even though it is illegal under Kenyan law. Many girls have no time at all for school, being kept at home to look after younger brothers and sisters, clean, tend the shamba, look after goats or sheep, cook meals etc etc.. They know no other way. Girls also are kept away from school during their monthly periods, as they do not have access to sanitary towels. This also impedes their education.

When the library opened a great number of girls started coming in to read the books. They had never had access to books before, other than school curriculum books (for those lucky enough to go to school). It was a joy to see them talking to each other about what they were reading, asking questions, and feeling free to talk.

We do not want to tell communities that their traditions are wrong, but merely offer choices and access to information.

We want to create a girls club at the library in Sipili, where girls can come to meet, to talk to each other about ANYTHING: a safe space where they can talk about marriage, boys, sex, clothes, goats, hygiene, hair care, families, periods, babies etc. To do this we need to employ a coordinator based in the library who will organise meetings for the girls, and who is willing to sit and listen. In addition we want to bring inspirational guest speakers from Nairobi to talk to the girls once a month: a lady lawyer, a lady doctor, a lady chief, a shop owner, etc etc. Some of these speakers have already agreed to come. We had over 70 girls turn up to an informal meeting about this in December 2008, so we know there is interest. .We also want the girls to create dramas, music etc to show their concerns and needs to other groups. It may be possible to show DVD’s etc from a laptop computer to small groups. DVD’s on certain issues are available to borrow from AMREF and from Red Cross. If this works it may be possible to create girlchild clubs in each of our centres. We have sent a proposal to several organisations.

Family Reading Groups. Family reading is a new concept here, as is reading for pleasure generally. We would like to set up family reading groups, initially in Kawangware and Mathare North centres. This would involve talking to parents, and giving them a book-bag of books to use with their children every night. The books will be returned and replaced every week. This can also include information about reading and using books with babies.

More Book clubs. We are trying to find an international school to pair with each of the KidsLibs centres. Mathare North is currently paired with ISK, Kawangware with Braeburn. We are trying to find a partner for Eastleigh and for Sipili.

Ministry of Youth. Anne and Patrick went to visit the Ministry of Youth, and later took 4 members from the Ministry to visit Mathare North centre. They are interested in KLT creating libraries attached to their Youth Empowerment Centres. We are currently working on a proposal for this. As our centres are run by youth members, and all activities are organised by youth, we feel we have a big role to play in giving the youth of Kenya a chance to shine and show what they are capable of.

The Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education. We are still waiting for them to get back to us. We are VERY keen to start adult education sessions in all of our centres –OUTSIDEOF LIBRARY OPENING HOURS!!- and hope the department will be able to assist in making this possible.