A library is a passport to wonders and glimpses into other lives, experiences, dreams & strivings of all human beings. A library opens our eyes and hearts to joys of the world beyond our front doors, allowing us to dream, against hopelessness, despair and ignorance. It is in this spirit of presenting hope and a world of escape for children, that Dr. Ribeiro Parklands School hosted a colourful ceremony to launch the school’s first library, on Thursday 1 st February 2018.Dr Ribeiro Parklands School The school was founded in 1928 by two Goan educationists; the late Dr. A.C.I de Souza and Dr. Ribeiro, who combined efforts to start a school that would cater for the interest of their community members. It was later handed over to the Ministry of Education in 1965 and is currently a public primary school that pays homage to pupils who majorly come from Ngara and Pangani areas, which are characterized by gang & sexual violence, drunkenness and high rates of illiteracy. This library launch was therefore an auspicious event that represented a new beginning for the school. It brought about a sense of optimism and hope for a better and safe reading environment, where the children could now access thousands of storybooks and numerous reading opportunities; something that has in the longest time been considered a privilege for the affluent. The event saw the entire school fraternity; parents, teachers, board of management, the ministry of education and hundreds of children, come together to acknowledge and celebrate the value of reading to the school. The event kicked off with song and dance from the pupils, who were beyond themselves with excitement as they were the chief guests of the event. The children were represented by their president, who gave a speech on the importance of reading to better performance in school and individual success in life. dr ribieroTransforming lives through libraries The thousands of books in the library present a valuable and alternative escape from their daily, sometimes gruesome realities at home. The storybooks are a pillar of hope to the pupils, as they are exposed to worlds of endless possibilities and challenged to aspire for change, to break the chain of desolation and pessimism. In addition to this, the school also has a Cerebral Palsy Unit (CPU) with about 130 children, who would benefit greatly by interacting with the numerous colourful pictures and characters in the books. Initially, the children only engaged in physical activities to boost their fine & gross motor skills. With the current collection of over 1000 books, the teachers and aides at the CPU will read the stories aloud to the children. Reading aloud has been proven as one of the factors that contribute to improving literacy levels of children with cerebral palsy. The library will not only transform the lives of hundreds of pupils in the school, but also positively impact the reading habits of thousands of other children in the school’s fraternity. Dr. Ribeiro Parklands School library is the 2nd of the 78 Hero Libraries in honour of the late Prof. Kofi Awoonor. We continue to celebrate this great hero, by passing on his inspirational values and teachings to the next generation of authors and poets. Just like the pupils in Dr. Ribeiro, millions of children across the country continue to struggle with illiteracy, due to lack of access to reading material. This coupled with abject poverty and other associated challenges, continue to define the future for most of the children in public schools. Our journey to starting the remaining 76 libraries in the next 200 days is therefore critical in reversing the negative practices and notions entrenched in the lives of over 500,000 children across the country. This will build a network of Junior Reading Ambassadors who will champion reading in school and gradually revolutionize the reading culture in the country. In addition to this, the libraries will contribute in nurturing a generation of enlightened and empowered individuals, equipped with skills to run a vibrant economy and contribute to community development. We are currently fundraising for the next 10 hero libraries in: City, Muthaiga, Chelata, Kifaru, Genesis Joy, Kilimani, Bidii, Thawabu and Donholm Primary Schools. These are public schools, that cater to thousands of children from low income families and have also integrated inclusive learning to support children with disability. WE invite like-minded individuals and organizations to partner with us to start these hero libraries and get a book in the hands of thousands of children, HERE .

 

 

124TH LIBRARY: DR. RIBEIRO PRIMARY SCHOOL

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THE EVENT IN WORDS.

‘’To the family of Prof. Kofi Awoonor, words cannot express our gratitude. The best kind of
friends are those that enter your life, and help you to see a blue sky where before there was a
cloudy sky. They are the ones that have so much faith in you that you start having faith in
yourself. These are the friends we should be grateful for. God bless you’’ - Irene Ngugi, Head teacher

 

‘’To the family and friends of the late Professor Kofi Awoonor, a big THANK YOU for the
library. There’s nothing better than a good person. They can change your whole day. They can

change your whole life, he’s our Shujaa’’ 

- BOM Chairman

‘’You have given me a new life. Thank you so much for the library.’’ 

- Margaret, class 5 pupil

‘’I never saw this coming; it’s the beginning of achieving my dream. Thank you.’’

- Marvin, class 8 pupil-

‘’Because of the library, I will grow up reading and learning about new worlds. Asanteni

Sana!’’
- Maulid, class 6 pupil-

‘The storybooks are very nice and I will read them all. You are my heroes!’’

- Natalie, class 7 pupil-

‘’I can now also be a hero thanks to all the books in the library.’’

- Gadhi, class 5 pupil-

If you have spent a considerable amount of time on the internet lately, especially on Facebook, then you have definitely come across the short and very tastefully done recipe videos from Daawat Rice and Nuvita Biscuits. These are brands under Mjengo Limited who were at Kiamwangi Primary School on Monday, 19 March 2018 cooking up a special recipe: A READING FEAST.

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The school is located at Iria-ini location in Mathira Constituency, in the Gatundu area. This is a semi formal low income area where most of the people are casual labourers who work in the nearby coffee plantations. The school is about an hour away from the nearest big town or highway, and this poses quite a restraint to the pupils and anyone else who wants to travel to the school. The school has 258 pupils, with a large percentage of them communicating in their mother tongue with a few English and Kiswahili phrases thrown in. The school had no library and lacked access to books and reading materials. The situation was not any better at home for the pupils, as most of their parents could not afford to buy storybooks for their children and did not see the value that reading for pleasure can have in their children’s lives.IMG 1278 1

The idea for a library at the school was born in 2017 by the late BOM chairman out of a deep desire to equip the pupils with the necessary skills to succeed in life. According to her, reading would open the children’s minds and enable them to create new realities for themselves. After conducting a book drive at the school with the help of G-United, they were able to get a few books for the school.  This, however, did not satisfy the reading appetite of the pupils.  The BOM of the school contacted Mjengo Ltd to help, who took this on as a CSR project. Geraldine Wangia, who championed the project, was a teacher for 45 years and really understood the value that books would have in the lives of the pupils. She mobilised all their factory workers and top management who raised enough funds to purchase books to start a library.


Even before our arrival at the school with the books, the school management had commissioned for shelves to be fitted in the library space as a show of commitment on their part. The launch event was attended by the pupils, the school management, representatives from neighbouring schools and the county education office, and other invited guests. As a testament of the value they had placed on the library, many parents had also left behind their daily activities to come and witness the momentous occasion. Just knowing that they now had a library at the school was more than enough to thoroughly excite the pupils. They were even happier when they saw the library was filled with brand new books for their reading pleasure.

 

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      Learning is a basic ingredient for success in life. What better place for children to learn than   through storybooks? In stories, children learn such values as creativity, critical thinking,   confidence and curiosity. While they hungered for reading material and knowledge before, the   children of Kiamwangi Primary School can now ‘eat’ to their heart’s content of the reading feast   in their school library.

      We are on a mission to fundraise and start libraries in 100 other schools in Thika and its   environs who still experience the hunger for books due to lack of functional libraries. We are   calling on all like-minded visionaries to join us in our effort to get a book in every hand by   adopting a school and championing for the establishment of a library.

 

 Each school library requires a minimum of 1,000 storybooks to adequately feed the reading   needs of the children.

Your voice, support and book donation will be greatly appreciated!

 

‘’We read to know we are not alone.’’   - C.S. Lewis

Slum areas are characterised by cramped spaces, unsanitary conditions and too many people. For the children in these slums, their lives are made especially hard by the fact that most of the people who have authority over them are too busy looking for food and other essentials to worry about their children’s reading habits. In fact, most of them just take their children to school ‘to spend the day there’ with no regard for whether they can read or not.

nairobi south1Nairobi South Primary School is such a school. It is a public primary school with a            total population of 1,068 pupils. The school is located in South B, just opposite Our          Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. Even though the school is surrounded by a middle          class residential area, most of the pupils come from the nearby Mukuru Kayaba            slums, which had previously made getting access to storybooks almost impossible.        This urgency for books has been evident in the consistently low results the pupils get      in their language exams as well as the fact that many of them can barely speak and      be understood in public.

On Monday, 23rd October 2017, the gates of Nairobi North Primary School opened        at 6.30am for the launch of the school library. Even though it was during the school          holidays, the pupils of class 6, 7 and 8 were all there to witness this great occasion.          The library, which had been donated by Ingredion, Rao Cheekati and Algelgel, had a        total of 700 new storybooks for all class levels.

 

 

nairobi south2The launch ceremony was well attended, with representatives from Ingredion and the PTA, as well as teachers and pupils. The program started with a very powerful speech by the school President that clearly articulated why the library was important not just for him, but for every pupil. The Deputy Head teacher, Mrs. Omenda, was overjoyed about the addition of a functional library in the school. She encouraged the children to use the library space effectively. The best way to do that would be to make sure that they read a book every day. Tracy, one of the Ingredion representatives present was also very keen to instil the value of learning as a constant in the lives of the pupils, letting them know that the more they read, the more things they would know, and the more things they would learn.

The best part of the day was when the library door ribbon was cut and the pupils were allowed to get inside the library. There was an air of expectancy and wonder around the pupils as they saw the books for the first time. For many of them it was the first time they were seeing so many new storybooks in one place and they were almost afraid to touch, though the curiosity finally won. Soon the library was full as the pupils, teachers and guests enjoyed reading some of the stories. We also conducted a read aloud session in the library. Just as we’d brought books to nourish their minds, we also brought biscuits for the pupils donated by Nuvita Biscuits to nourish their stomachs.

Going forward, we will conduct a training session for the teacher and student librarians once the school year starts. The training is done as a way to familiarise them with the library and all the roles they’ll play connected to it. We will also monitor the library lessons and other related activities, while lending our expertise to the school.

‘’A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.’’ – Neil Gaiman

nairobi south3The children of Nairobi South Primary School may not come from the best of places, but their thirst for knowledge is undeniable. Due to the high population of the school, 700 storybooks are just not enough. We are continuously fundraising for more storybooks, the minimum being 1500 for the school. We are calling on all well-wishers and likeminded individuals and companies to contribute to this worthy cause. Let us come together and give these children dreams.

EVENT IN WORDS

‘A library is a sea of knowledge’ - Brian, School president

‘It was great to see how enthusiastic the children were and their willingness to entertain the guests. The books were well arranged in the library and the titles catered to all age groups. It seemed to me that the children were genuinely happy to receive the books and were eager to start borrowing from the library. My hope is that the books are well taken care of so that they can be used over many years and that the children learn to respect books. I also hope the teachers will give the children a chance to borrow from the library without unnecessary restrictions’ – Tracy, Ingredion representative

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