Monday, 25 May 2009

May activity!!

Nothing much has happened this month, but every step - even a shuffle!- in the right direction is good news!

e proposals have been sent. However, we now have a young lady who is visiting in Gilgil who is a professional proposal writer- Lorna. Lorna is working on a proposal for us, and also some letters of enquiry: Proposals will go to Richard Branson, and ‘letters of enquiry’ to Oprah and to Global Fund for Children (letters of enquiry are sent, then, if there is interest we will be requested to make a full proposal.

· Funding expires end of July...

· Kawangware paperwork is completed and signed! New staff have been interviewed, and Lucy started working there last week! Maurice is still there from the original staff as a paid volunteer. The library has been PACKED over April- May, due to school holidays. DEC (who run the library) moved tables outside the building so all people wanting to use the library could be accommodated!

Henry from Kawangware centre receiving his certificate.

· Booklists. Anne has created a ‘Fantasy Booklist’; a list of recommended fantasy themed books for older children... these have a small review. We hope to get children and staff from each of our centres to create their own themed lists! We would like to get this list – and others to follow- printed and available for our library users.

· STILL looking for a donor to produce our KLT leaflet...

· Safaricom Foundation has given us a letter to say that they intend to give us a pick up truck! Anne is now working on the required paperwork, which will go to Safaricom this week! We may yet have our vehicle before the end of May... watch this space!!!

· We have started a girlchild club at Mathare North. Ann Chege talked to a group of 20 girls (aged 10 – 22) about hygiene. Ann has also talked to the girls about early marriages. The girls have called themselves Mathare Super Angels!

We are keen to start our club in Sipili in Laikipia West. A lady Kenyan

psychologist is keen to help us with this group, but we are having trouble finding a convenient Saturday! We still have no funding for transport, food, etc, but hope to combine the first visit with our monthly visit to the library.

· Duty exemption from KRA.. the is still being organised. Not hopeful though.

· STILL trying to find someone to set us up as a charity in the UK.. This is rather urgent as we want to apply to Comic RelieAlign Centerf for funding, and have to be a registered charity in the UK before we can apply. We even have a letter of support form DFAID waiting to attach to our application!

· A consignment of books is being organised from the UK by Pauline Cunningham. These have left the UK and are on their way to Kenya!

· Maili Saba is still not open. Waiting for rest of furniture, catalogue drawers and carpet, which is dependent on funding from MYSA. Very discouraging for both staff and the local community, whose enthusiasm has been sadly dampened.

Douglas from Maili Saba receiving his certificate

· Little Hands, Big Steps, our family reading project is starting at Mathare North in June! This is a trial project! If it works we will introduce to our other centres. 5 families/ carers of under 5 year olds have been chosen by MN staff. They will each receive a bag of 5 books every week, returning their bag weekly to receive a new one, for a 10 week period, with instructions on how to use them with their youngest children. Introducing books at this age is not only a great boost to their later education, but is a joy and a means to increase parent/ child bonding.AFK in the USA have helped with this project, supplying book-bags, and facilitating a donation form Norwich Rotary club in the USA with which we have purchased some of the Africa themed books included in our book-bags

· Staff at all centres received their basic library training certificates at the April libraries meeting! Storytelling course certificates will follow!

· Possible new centre in Marang’a area.

Anne and Patrick have had meetings with several organisations re making further centres. The most positive one is in Marang’a area up country. This is with our great friend and colleague Zack Gichane, who is responsible for our liaison with Sara Lee Kenya (they give us free office space, as well as supporting Mathare North library financially). We visited the area (predominantly tea growing), and spoke to some community members. There is in existing building- see previous blog!

· We plan to computerise Maile Saba and Kawangware centres, using Bookmark, which was donated to KLT some years ago by the Australian High Commission. This will give a computerised catalogue (accessible by staff and children) and a computerised issue system.

· Kids in Mathare North have been writing stories and accounts of how the post election violence affected them. The best of these will be sent to Beverley Naidoo (our patron, and famous children’s author) who wants to read them.

· We got the new camcorder in March- and are now in receipt of a digital camera, donated by Carol Craven from Martha’s Vineyard in the USA! Susan Phillips visited the USA recently and brought the camera back with her. This will be so useful for good quality photos for the website.

· Anne gave a talk to 11 year olds at Rosslyn Academy. As a result we now have a power-point presentation suitable to show children! It was very interesting to see what these – mainly- ex patriate children knew about the lot of children of their own age in Kenya. The children also donated seven boxes of books!!

· Githurai we are told is still coming on, waiting for its next batch of funding. Anne and Patrick had a meeting with the Dutch donor (money given to MYSA). Not hopeful.

· Kasarani is still putting out proposals for funding of their proposed centre.

· Ngong Town is also still trying to find funding for their children’s library. The largest part of the costings here is for their sustainability scheme.. they want to raise chickens

· Sipili we are still trying to find a donor to build us a new building, as Lariak Primary school has asked us to move out as they have decided that they need the two classrooms we are currently using. We have the land donated, and are looking for approximately 1.6 million Kenyan shillings to build a building exactly the same size as the one we are leaving. The money includes fencing, a toilet block, a security guard house and solar power. We are also looking for a sustainability plan here... we still think the purchase of a tractor and plough would be appropriate here, as we can hire it out and use the profit to sustain the library, staff etc.

· Susan had managed to find someone to publish the wonderful ‘Trading Fives book she and ISK produced with groups of children from ISK and Mathare North last year. She is hoping to sell them through ISK and raise some money so the Mathare North kids can have a copy of their own each.

· We are also trying to find first aid kits and fire extinguishers for each of the centres. AFK in the USA have promised us First Aid Kits when they come over in August. THANK YOU!!!

· STILL NEED A NEW TRUSTEE and chair, as Smita is no longer available...ALSO a new treasurer, both willing to be signatories on the KLT account.. SUGGESTIONS PLEASE??

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