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December 2008

We are still waiting for our new website design to be ready, so we are updating this one to keep things fresh and moving!

Since May many things have happened to KidsLibs! Anne had to return briefly to the UK to try to find a donor to bring her back to continue with the work of KLT. Luckily she found AOE corporation, who donated funds to bring her back to Kenya!

Since returning We have been able to move Kawangware centre to new premesis, and finally receive delivery of the rest of the chairs at Laikipia Centre!


Mathare North and ISK.. Booklab!

BookLab has started between Mathare North Centre and ISK..they are now on their second book! They have used S.E. Hintons The Outsiders, and their second book is City of Ember by Jeanne DePrau. We are still working on getting Rosslyn Academy on board for a bookclub with Eastleigh centre! Braeburn and Kawangware centre are still working together on thier bookclub! They have now completed 3 books: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Burn My Heart by Beverley Naidoo, and Heaven's Shop by ............ They will recommence in January 2009.

Also Anne is now working on another 4 centres for next year! These are: Maili Saba, Kasarani (Zimmerman), Githurai, and Gilgil (our second rural centre!).

Maili Saba- a MYSA centre- . Here we are mid training of Simon, Douglas and Kennedy! We hope to open January/ February time next year!

Kasarani. This is being made with a new CBO called ICEI (International . They are currently finding a donor to support thier project. They have included a suatainability plan with their initial proposal

Githurai - a MYSA Centre- is still moving along . We hope to open this year

Gilgil Centre. This is being made with the Sonata Trust. They are finding funding to build a new centre as part of a community centre complex in Gilgil. Half the funding is available, and we hope that by January the rest of the funding will be available and building can start. In the meantime we are trying to find temporary premesis to start organising the stock and training staff.


Susan Phillips- our newest Trustee!- organised a fundraiser at her house on Dec 5th. It was a really well organised and enjoyable couple of hours, although very few people actually attended. Those who did brought along some books for the centres too.The children from Mathare North performed their rap (girls rap group!), and a poem about the post election violence. We had ice cream, snacks and sodas! Susan created some wonderful boards about each of the KLT centres, and representatives from each centre came to the event.

DVD.We are still filming the DVD about KidsLibs Trust. We are also still trying to find funding for the editing and production costs... $10-15,000 USD!

KLT UK! Still trying to find a leader to set up KLT UK as a charity there...

KLT Accountant! We now have an accountant for the Trust! Neil Jones is doing our accounting free of charge!

KLT Staff! Patrick is now on KLT staff for a period of 3 months. If we have funding available we will continue to be able to pay him. Anne is also now being paid from donated funds.

KLT business cards. Mike Jones from Colourspace in Nairobi donated business cards for both Anne and Patrick! They are great quality, and really help us to sell the Trust! THANK YOU!!! He is also possibly making us our KLT leaflet!

Donations. We have received substantial one off donations from AOE Corparation, and from Paterson Foundation! THANK YOU!! Without your help KLT could not continue in the work it is doing. We have also received donations of books from Naheed Popat and family and Peponi House School. Smita Pandit and family donated a wonderful desktop computer which we are now using in our new office at Sara Lee. Sara Lee have donated us office space, and Bakewell Rotary Club have sent us the money to purchase a digital camcorder to record library events and activities!



May 2008

I hope you all remember that I am now living in Sipili, Laikipia West area North of Nairobi! Have been here since the end of February... and I love it here!!! I am here to complete Sipili centre (Laikipia). I can see Mount Kenya every morning, and sometimes can hear elephants passing in the night!!

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 ST
ACK of donations whilst I was there!!!

* A box of books from IOM's Lara Quartermain,
* a set of encyclopaedias from Mrs Usha Patel,
* several boxes of 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!

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

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???



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 door to see what we are doing, and to ask for information on opening etc. John, a local artist, has designed a wonderful mural to paint on the whole side to the library building! It will depict Mount Kenya, 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!!!

Kawangware 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 centre, in Kayole is no longer a KidsLibs Centre so they cannot participate in this wonderful opportunity.

Susan Phillips has also started a Penpals club with 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!!



Anne is returning to UK to find donors on June 9th (arrive 10th) to support and expand KidsLIbs Trust. She also hopes to set up a KidsLibs Trust bank account in the UK, and register KidsLibs Trust as a UK charity. If she finds a donor quickly she hope to be back in Kenya by August! She is already booked to give talks to three branches of Rotary Club in the UK, and hopes to visit any foundations, businesses etc who may be interested in financing KidsLibs Trust. Whilst she is away Steven Irungu from Mathare North Centre will chair our monthly meetings, and Patrick Ngabia (Anne's P.A) will keep Anne informed as to developments in Kenya!! He will also collect donations, etc.


Situation Kenya... March 2008..

Well, a very sad start to the new Year here in Kenya. Luckily all our centres have survived, although Charles and Stephan from Mathare North lost everything: clothes, home, household goods etc. Steven and his wife are now living in a safe area, although Charles is still living in the library. Stephan's Mother and sisters are still staying with a friend of his mother's.

Since we now have an agreement between the two main political parties in Kenya, we are all hopeful for a return to peace. Unfortunately many rural areas are still suffering as a result of tribalism.. or in the name of tribalism. Crops and property are being burnt or destroyed near Sipili (our Laikipia centre) in a bid to remove 'unwanted' people.

Anne went to visit Mathare North on 19th January, and was shocked by what she saw. The homes where she has walked between many times, and taken tea with residents are no more. They have been flattened and burnt About 900 people af all tribes have been made homeless. You can feel the tension and fear still there, as people continue to move out because of threats to their lives and the lives of their families.

is now


March 2008 UPDATED!


Kawangware Centre


For full report see Kawangware own page!!!

Laikipia Centre- March 2008 update!

Anne decided due to the costs involved in travelling to and from Sipili that she would rent a room there, and stay for a month or three to complete the staff training and processing of the stock. This reducse both fuel and accommadation costs dramatically as well as bringing forward the opening of the centre.

Anne went to Sipili week beginning February 26th. Rent is 6000/- a month. It is rather like camping in a building- with one of her dogs!. She is staying on a compound with a lovely family, who is teaching her all the things she needs to know:- Learning to pasturise fresh milk, and bringing water in from, using a long drop loo outside are all challenges,no glass in the windows, DUST, but otherwise most things are available - fresher and better than in Nairobi!

The work is progressing at a faster pace, as Anne can monitor work daily. Also educating the library committee as to their responsibilities is quite a challenge, and MUCH easier to accomplish while living in Sipili.

I have had several meetings with the local secondary school teachers (Lariak secondary and Sipili secondary) reference to the Water Engineering collection donated by Loughborough university. Also in connection with creating an Education resource centre in one of their schools, using materials donated from Canada which are not suitable for library stock (needing to be used in a classroom setting). Also we have too many Adults fiction books, so a donation of these will be made to both schools- if they can show that the school can provide adequate storage for them.

Enquires have been made also re starting drama, music and art clubs. There is a lot of interest in these fields, and 3 people have already started making enquiries to find local interest.

Anne will have to return to Sipili after Easter to continue working here to get the centre open ASAP, for at least another month.

DVD for KidsLibs Trust

Clare Kemp, a professional film maker has undertaken to make us a DVD to promote the work of The KidsLibs Trust! This will be a VERY useful tool to send to prospective donors who know nothing about Africa, or information needs here.Clare visited Mathare North on Jan 19th, when the drama groups performed for us with their usual sense of fun! She also attended the opening of Kawangware, and KidsLibs Trust February meeting.

World Book Day March 9th 2008

Children from Mathare North centre visited Peponi House Preparatory School for World Book Day. They spent all day at Peponi school, doing shared reading, participating in book quizzes, and finally performing drama with the Peponi children in the afternoon. As a result a sum of money has been collected to purchase books for the KidsLibs Trust centres! The group performed two moving poems written by Charles Ajoe(staff at Mathare North centre) dealing with the effect of the recent post election violence. They can be seen on the activities page on this site.


We have received donations of books from Priti Shah, Naheed Popat and family, and Braeburn prep school. We have also received 30 copies of Beverley Naidoo's new book 'Burn My Heart' from Penguin Books in the UK AND 4 copies of the latest exciting novel by Eoin Colfer 'AirMan' signed by the author! East African Womens League donated us a LARGE piece of carpet suitable for our centre in Sipili Laikipia! It is used, but is quite servicable!! Also KidsLibs Trust has been donated 6 new wheelchairs by CLDS. (Church of the Latter Day Saints). These we hope will go: 2 to Githurai, 1 to Eastleigh, 1 to Ukenya centre in Kayole, and 2 to Laikipia centre! Also copies of Children's Express Magazine for all of the centres have been donated by Janie Ellerby, art teacher extraordinaire from ISK! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!

Contract between CBO'S and KidsLibs Trust

All CBO's now have to sign an agreement between themselves and KidsLibs Trust, ensuring that all donated items remain in the library, and that all services remain free and open to ALL community members. We have signed contracts from Laikipia and Kawangware centres, and are waiting them from Eastleigh and Mathare North (MYSA) and from UKenya centre in Kayole. Unfortunately no more donations can go to the centres unless the contract is signed!


After the arrival of Beverley Naidoos Book 'Burn my Heart' (thank you Penguin Books!) a meeting was held between Braeburn preparatory school, and KidsLibs Trust. We have decided to pair each KidsLibs Centre with an international school:


Mathare North.....ISK

Eastleigh................Rosslyn Academy?

UKenya centre......?

Laikipia centre.....Greensteads or Pembroke school?

Susan Philips has agreed to coordinate the bookclubs on behalf of KidsLibs Trust. We are currently choosing the books we will use, hopefully trying to base them loosly on a theme of reconciliation and tolerance. We envisage 3 boys and 3 girls age approximately 12 years from the KidsLibs Centre, and the same from the international school will meet monthly at the international school (the international school to provide transport for the KidsLibs children). We hope each bookclub will do something a little different from each other: one may write reviews to publish on the internet, another may decide to create a drama out of what they have read etc etc.The International school will purchase the sets of books, which will be kept in the KidsLibs centre after use, so local kids can borrow them after reading about them in Children's Express magazine.

November 2007

Bakewell Rotary Club, UK -Collection Day for KidsLibs!

On October 20th members of Bakewell Rotary Club stood out in the freezing cold all day with collection tins, collecting money for KidsLibs Trust! They raised over £400! WONDERFUL! . Bakewell Rotary is actually going to donate £800 to KidsLibs in total! This will go towards paying for Anne to get to Laikipia to do staff training every week for 6 months, also towards the purchasing of carpeting for Laikipia centre, and if anything left towards more shelving for Laikipia! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!

Bakewell Rotary Club volunteers on the streets of Bakewell, UK


Thanks Aussie High Com- and Symbion Architects!!-

Laikipia:a 'Provincial Library Community Based Self Help Group' Information Centre/ Library-.The Australian High Commission approved funds to refurbish and repair the two rooms at Lariak Primary School in Sipili, Laikipia! The funds have now been spent. We had to install another two extra windows, which meant we had to sacrifice our carpeting... so we are now looking for donors for the carpeting!

Althought the centre/library is located in the school it is open to all members of the local community. Indeed the centre is fenced off from the school.


Children's room

Training was started with the 4 volunteer staff but had to stop due to lack of funds for fuel etc to get there..., Anne will now be able to recommence as we have funds available from donors in the USA found by Susam Philips and from Bakewell Rotary club!

Laikipia volunteers: Joseph, Martha, Goffry, and Rosemary

Since unpacking the books we have realised that we need more shelving to house all the stock delivered. We received a large collection of health and medical books from AMREF and need shelving to house this too. We may be able to put some of our donated funds towards further shelving too.

We also are looking for donors to build us a purpose built Information Centre in Laikipia. When this happens all items (which can be moved!) donated by Australian High Commission will be moved to new building. Symbion archetects here in Nairobi have designed us a purpose designed Community information Centre. It is exactly what the community in Laikipia need. They undertook this work free of charge.... THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! We just need to find a builder and donors for the 23 million shillings the materials alone will cost!!!

Book review clubs- international! - New!

Beverley Naidoo and her publishers Penguin Books have donated 36 copies of Beverley's new book 'Burn my Heart'. We hope to start bookclubs in all the centres here in 2008, in conjunction with Penguin in UK and some UK schools by posting reviews on the internet... watch this space! Susan Philips, David Griffiths and Ayelen Buraschi (teachers from USA, UK and Argentina )will be involved with this.

We have a Patron!

Dr Beverley Naidoo., children's author and activist has agreed to be our patron! Beverley has visited Mathare North, EastLeigh and the UKenya centres on both of her visits here to Kenya- she opened Mathare North library in February 2004 with Sir Edward Clay the -then- Bristish High Commissioner. Have a look at Beverely's website: Beverley has also recently published a book set in Kenya called 'Burn My Heart' set in the time of Mau Mau uprising.. I actually get a mention at the back!!!

Working with Disadvantaged people-

Anne recently had meetings with both Association for the Physically Disabled Kenya (APDK), and with the African Braille Centre (ABC).

ABC have suggested making a corner in Mathare North centre for books in Large Print and for a special machine which will the enlarge text of any book. If we can get this machine donated we can do this almost immediately, as we have some stock in Large print and in Braille.

APDK have suggested that at our new centre in Githurai we get 2 wheelchairs donated to keep in the centre. This will enable those community members who need to use wheelchairs to use our centre. APDK have also decided to come ot our monthly meetings. We also hope to be invloved in the National daty for the disabled in December, offering materials, storytelling etc.

GOAL Kenya-

GOAL is currently looking into expanding their resource centre in Mukuru slum in Nairobi. Anne has met with their Irish architect Alice several times! We ar hoping that when GOAL find the funding that they will become a KidsLibs Centre, so we can supply stock etc to them. Damaris and Maria from GOAL already come to our monthly meetings.

Creative Writing Classes at Mathare North: Trading Fives," an Adventure in Poetry and Art - Susan Philips

Thirteen boys and girls from the Mathare North creative writing club and 13 girls from the Girls Art and Leadership group at International School of Kenya worked together over a period of four Saturday afternoons in September and October to write poems, draw pictures, share their ideas, and select their best work to be included in a book.

Two handmade copies of the book, including poetry and artwork from every participant, will be given to the Mathare North and ISK libraries soon, and the participants hope to celebrate their achievements with a book launch party. The book is titled "Trading Fives," because all of the poems are five lines long, and every piece of writing and art included represents an exchange of ideas, words, enthusiasm and support.

The group met at the ISK arts center. The first meeting started off with an ice-breaking game and setting up pairs of students who would work together for the rest of the project. Then everyone took part in a silly drawing exercise called "blind contour drawing." For this, each child drew a picture of his partner. But the rules were strict: You could not look down at what you were drawing, and you could not lift your pen off the paper until you were finished. The results? If you squint, you might think of Picasso.

Finally, the children interviewed each other and used the results to write five-line poems called cinquains. Here is one that will be included in the book, it's by Junior Kimeu, 12, from Mathare North, about his partner Aliya Chaudhry,10, from ISK.


Tall, funny
Reading, painting, writing
Talking to her friends

In subsequent meetings, participants wrote more cinquains, sometimes working in pairs, and sometimes individually. The poetry topics were wide-ranging - for instance, one session was devoted to shoes, boots and sandals - and the organizers provided a whole heap of sneakers, booties, flip-flops, high heels etc. to get the children's imaginations going. Before writing, the group talked about how shoes pick up tell-tale signs of the lives their owners lead - scuff marks, worn soles, creases. The writers also brainstormed about how it might feel to be a shoe, and generated a huge list of words having to do with shoes, walking, running, etc.


The final session was a mad rush, as the pairs picked their favorite poems and then set about making plates of their illustrations in order to produce two identical copies of the art for the handmade books. Two extra helpers, printmaker Chris kinanjui and Angela Wangeru gave invaluable support as the children figured out the printmaking process and rushed to complete two good prints before it was time to go.

It was great to see the children work together and gain confidence in their writing and their art. And it would not have been possible without help from four ISK high school students, Laura Hutchinson, Yasmin Azli, Manon Verchot and Bryonny Bidder, who helped set up for each session and then circulated around the room, providing encouragement and the occasional nudge.

Now, it is up to the organizers - Susan Phillips, who has been working with the Mathare North creative writing group, and Jane Elleby, an art teacher at ISK who leads the Girls Art and Leadership group - to sit down with the high school helpers and put the books together in their final form.

KidsLibs Trust UK.

Nicci Crowther, a TV and film producer from the UK came to visit in February. Nicci is with the Akili Trust, who have set up a small library in Malindi area. Nicci has returned to UK and has started work to make KidsLibs into a charity in the UK!!! I have found Trustees, but have yet to find someone willing to be the coordinator.. who will organise meetings etc... any volunterrs??? Contact Anne please!. We will then be able to raise funds in UK for The KidsLibs Trust here.

Thanks Muthaiga Rotary Club and Friends!

Our books from Canada arrived safely!!! Muthaiga Rotary worked closely with Sheri Harper inToronto to get these delivered to Kenya.. Exciting stuff!!! These books have been divided between two centres (September 2007). We have decided to not unpack them in Nairobi, but to transport them directly to Sipili and unpack them there. They arrived in Sipili on September 22nd.

Thanks to Safaricom Foundation!

Safaricom Foundation are now sponsoring our new Information Centre in Kawangware slum in Nairobi!!! They are sponsoring us for a period of two years, including paying for full refurbishment of the building, rent, electricity, water, and for one full time member of staff, plus 2 volunteers over the two year period!!! The work has started on this centre! The carpet is in, and the books unpacked and on the shelves! Cataloguing etc is well under way. We hope to open inDecember..

Safaricom Foundation have also donated KidsLibs with 10 wind up/ solar powered radios! Three of these are going up to Laikipia to be used to listen to educational and health programmes (2 are already in place) three have gone to Kawangware area and are already being used in local schools and clinics, the remaining 4 are going to UKenya library, Kenya Breast Health Programme (for use in conjunction with their new mobile mamography unit), Tell Tale to educate their youth and the youth they educate through their dramas, and the fourth going to GOAL resource centre in Mukuru. The groups have to report back on the use made of their radios over the initial 6 month period.

KidsLibs Monthly Meetings- UPDATED!

September We had some basic first aid training from Kenya Red Cross. This took place after our regular morning meeting.

October- we were due to have the ABC (African Braille Centre) to talk but they had to cancel...

November- we had ABC( African Braille Centre) who talked about services they offer to the blind and partially sighted. They have many contcts wit NGO's and donor organisations, and can keep us informed about eye clinics nationwide, and provide materials for clients. They have a register of blind and partially sighted in most regions. As we try to serve all community members it is helpful for us to know what services to this group our centres need ot provide.

2007 New Information Centre/ Libraries-

Githurai. Anne visited Githurai - a MYSA library- in August. The building is almost complete. Just the floor and ceilings to go in inside! The plans for furniture have now been submitted by MYSA to their donor in Holland.

Githurai May 2007


Kawangware- a WFF Information Centre/ Library-. Safaricom Foundation are now sponsoring our new Information Centre in Kawangware slum in Nairobi!!! They are sponsoring us for a period of two years, including paying for full refurbishment of the building, rent, electricity, water, and for one full time member of staff, plus 2 volunteers over the two year period!!! The work has started on this centre! The carpet is in, and the books unpacked and on the shelves! Cataloguing is well under way. We hope to open January 12th 2008!.

Maile Saba- a MYSA library. MYSA is still working on making the building suitable for library use.

Laikipia- (see above!)

Gilgil-New! - This centre wouldl be our second rural centre. We are again in negotiation with community members in Gilgil re opening a centre there. Anne had a meeting on November 13th with some members of the committee, but is not very hopeful that this centre will actually happen, due to the membership and attitide of some members of the library committee... Watch this space!



Bakewell Rotary Club, UK. is donating £800 after their street collection day in October!

EABS Bank has donated 50,000/- towards KidsLibs Trust running costs

BAMBURI CEMENT have donated 70,000/- towards the running costs of KidsLibs Trust!

Eunice Muthoni donated the use of a truck to transport 4 tonnes of books from Nairobi to Sipili in Laikipia.

AMREF has donated over 500 medical books from their medical library! Most of these will be going to the centre in Laikipia.

AFK. Brain Ball brought over a donated laptop from AFK!! He also donated- and put on - a heap of new software, and donated himself a hard drive, a memory stick, USB port adaptor and other items! Thank you!! It will be great to have a work laptop again!!!

Donna Myers, Janis Richter, and Grier and Barbars Horner have also donated USD from the USA!!! Susan Philips has recruited their assistance in this. MANY THANKS guys!!!! In October Susan also recruited further donors (Timothy Hunter, Stephan Goguen, Kathleen Fiorillo, Carol S. Ryder, and Cecilia M. Garcia) whose donations arrived during November. This enabled Anne to go to Laikipia to continue the training there!

See the donor page for full listing.


I hope KidsLibs managed to inspire all our visitors in their work! Many thanks to Stephan and Charles at Mathare North library who always make visitors so welcome!

Brain Ball- a computer retiree from Microsoft (now living in France!) visited in September/ October. He found out about KidsLibs from AFK, and is helping to advise us on library computer systems, website design,etc. Brain also brought over the donated laptop computer from AFK. He as completely rehalled it, adding memory, USB points, Wireless connections (x3!) and a LOAD of new software!

School fee payment offers!-

unfortunately through various misunderstandings this has not been possible.



New Website pages!!

We have some new pages on our website!

'Trustees' (under 'People' tab) tells you who our trustees are, and why they wanted to become trustees.

'Wishlist' page tells you all what we need and for where and why!!!!





We are keeping the original ISK web page entitled "Mathare Slum Libraries", as we feel sure that the kids who made the page would still like to show off their work!

Last modified august 2006
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