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!

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