Membership: total 5,546.
Attendence in November:
Adult men: 319
Adult ladies: 366
We are being used by 33 different primary
schools, 32 different secnodary schools, amd 26 further education
'BookLab' is our Bookclub! 6 of our users
go to ISK (they send a bus for us!) to study and interact with 6 ISK
students. We look at books chosen by KidsLibs in conjunction with
ISK! We have looked at 'The Outsiders' by S.E. Hinton, where we discussed
gangs and watched the movie of the book. We have just looked at 'City
of Ember' by Jeanne DePrau (Dec 6th 08)
We have a 70 year old man coming to the
library to talk to children about issues relating to African Countries
These have resumed, but we have real trouble
with maintaining the computers in working order, du eot power spikes
etc. We DESPERATELY need some UPS's.
The Drama group are working on the theme
of chldren's rights. We also have a Hip hop group, which includes
a girl power rap group! Have a look at some of the poems we perform
on the activities page!
Charles has been very busy with the drama
group, and has written several new poems which the children have performed
at various International schools (Peponi house, ISK). See Activities
page for scripts.. they are SO good!
We DESPERATELY need a
new carpet/ carpet tiles in the chldren's library. It is now now only
unsightly, but is positively dangerous, having holes in it which children
can trip over.
Achievements May 08
* Increase in centre users
* New Homework groups started
* Drama groups dealing with the topic
of Children's Rights..
* Computer skills classes have had to
stop, as computers are all damaged
* Power spikes and troughs responsi- ble
for computer damage
* Typewriter not working properly, so
unable to catalogue new stock
*Printer also not working properly, so
100 copies of Reach magazine from East
African Magazine in conjunction with Uchumi and Nakumatt
Since the post election violence in December
and January 2007-8 Mathare North centre has seen a few changes in
Area leaders have been using the library
premises for meeting to discuss shunning violence.
Beneficiaries of the library are now attending
again, as things have calmed down
We have introduced Hip Hop as part of
the drama group!
Bookclub partnership with ISK is still
Drama band and acting with puppets in
progress to pass information on children's rights
Drama groups also working on expressing
their views and learning about children's rights and abuses.
We received 593 books from KidsLibs Trust
stock from Canada and UK (Sara Lee UK donation)
Challenges February 2008
Computer damage due to
Late reports due to poor
Cant use reading room
or adults room when there is no power
Cannot add new stock to
shelves as the typewriter is poor
Need stock on:- Child
abuse and childrens rights, Cancer,community communication, drama
Solutions February 2008-
Get a new printer and
need standby lights or
lights with back up power batteries
need back up battery for
computers and.or UPS
Need a new typewriter
Ask The Nation to donate
Creative Writing Classes
at Mathare North 2007- completed!
article by Susan Phillips
an Adventure in Poetry and Art
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
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
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,
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.