Mathare Community Outreach Primary School in Nairobi County has today become the first beneficiary of the Yetu Start a Library’ Initiative that aims to drive a reading revolution in Kenya after a fully-fledged library with 1000 books was installed.

Launched one month ago, the initiative dubbed #StoryForChela is on a mission to bridge the literacy gap among Kenyan children by rallying corporate organizations, development partners and the Kenyan public to raise Sh. 30 million in 90 days to build 100 libraries for primary schools.

And to achieve this, the initiative has provided the country a unique way of raising the money, by coming together co-author the world’s first collectively written book. Research shows that children who read at least 26 storybooks per year perform better in school. However, in Kenya, only 2% of all primary schools have libraries. And where there are libraries, books are lacking.

The result has been a nose dive in literacy levels among children in Kenya with only 3 out of 10 Class 3 children can read a Class 2 level English Story while only 2 out of 10 children in the same class can read an English word according to The Uwezo Report 2014.

It is for this reason that the installation of the first library was today celebrated as a rallying call was made to Kenyans to participate in changing the future of the over 10 million children who do not have access to libraries.

Speaking during the library installation, Storymoja Africa founder, Muthoni Galarnd said, “By enhancing children’s ability to access books that enhance their reading culture, we hope that it will empower them to reach their full potential. Storybooks help children increase their vocabulary, nurture creativity and improve critical thinking which we all desire for our children”.

The Yetu Start a Library initiative is backed by USAID, the Aga Khan Foundation and various other partners to facilitate communal giving and problem solving. The campaign ambassador and patron, Dr. Auma Obama lauded the first library installation saying that Kenyan children deserve a literary future that will give them an edge globally.

“As a direct result of contributing to the #StoryForChela, Kenyans will not only be able to raise the funds needed to build more libraries, but also come up with a book collectively as a country, for the first time”, she said.

“This will be a book that every child in the country will be glad to read to improve his/her reading skills. A book that will change children future”, she added.

To participate in the campaign please log onto http://yetu.org/startalibrary/ to co-author a #storyforchela for as little as 10 shillings a word and be part of the first ever book written by a nation.

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