Kawangware is one of the
seven poorest areas to be found in Nairobi, Kenya. It is officially
a formal settlement, as opposed to an informal settlement (slum) area.
The Kawangware community
lives in a different world- especially in this era of information
technology. Lack of general information and education is greatly contributing
to rapid poverty increase within the area. This is a formal settlement
where the majority are poor, and a high birth rate. The majority know
how to read and write but, due to general lack of current oral and
verbal information on life, it is hard to them to make any basic steps
to overcome these challenges.
The library and information
centre is going to be a diverse central figure in helping every age
group in this community to access important information through reading
narrating and viewing. The community children will find a centre to
do research and school work instead of roaming around - which has
become a common way of promoting most dangerous vices in the community.
The majority of households
do not have electricity, and are one roomed houses accommodateing
both parents and their grown up children both male and female. The
houses don't provide space for study or reading environment, and does
not encourage children to stay at home; their library becomes a home
to obtain knowledge. It will also act as a quiet and inspirational
centre where imaginations can fly high to find answers on how to overcome
The library will also have
specific events such as talks on health, child abuse, employment creational
skills, story telling and others all from identified experts for a
better improved future.
WFF (which stands for Work For Food) is a community project which
started in the year 2004 as a way of teaching the poor community to
work for their basic needs, especially food. The main denominator
of this programme came as a result of school children who going without
food, and yet they were struggling searching for education in locals
schools, WWF runs a number of community projects including: community
health centre, posho mill project, school education programme and
food & saving scheme.
The library is our project
in the embryo that the whole community is looking forward to support
it and utilizes its opportunities.
Staffing and StocK
The centre will stock all
good books donated globally by generous support of The Kidslibs Trust.
They are the last of the books donated by donors in the UK( Loughborough
Rotary Club, Bakewell Rotary Club, Dorset School Library Service,
Cumbria Library Service, Jersey Library Service, and a school in Leeds,)
and transported by British High Commission, Toyota East Africa and
DHL UK and Kenya.
Library Committe Members
Foundation is sponsoring the centre for its first two years. This
includes rent for the room, and staffing for the period, as well as
the initial refurbishment of the room. WFF received the first cheque
from the Foundation (January 2007) , which is enough to set up the
centre, and to run it for a year.
In April 2007 we decided
to find a new building in the Kawangware area, as the proposed building
ended up being a feud betwen landlords! We found a suitable building
close by. These rooms are now carpeted and most of the library furniture
is in place. The books had been delivered to a site close to the old
building. These had to be moved to the new site.
Henry and Isobella
The staff are in place, and
staff training started i(cataloguing and classifying the stock) in
June! We now aim to open to the public at teh latest by October 2007!