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Kawangware Community library and Information Centre


Basic Information

Opening 2007!!

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 life challenges.

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.

Membership, 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

Our Sponsor

The Safaricom 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.


The Library Building

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.

June 2007

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!




We are still looking for two computers to put in this new library... any donation welcome!

We also need a set of encyclopaedias post 1973!!!...

If you have any old CD ROM's e.g. Encarta or other information based CD ROM these would also be gladly accepted!


Children's Rights Lawyer

Dorothy is a lawyer from Kawangware. She has offered to help children achieve thier rights for free through the KidsLibs Trust Centres! In Kawangware this will be throughconsultations on certain days of the week, and in the other centres providing a ''drop in'' box of legal matters.


We have a local artist ready and waiting to show our centre members how to draw , paint etc.


The local drama grou has alread performed at the centre, but we also hope to create our own drama group with children of all ages witht e local schools.



Last revision: Oct, 2005