Some of you might remember that in April this year one of our volunteers started a library in Koguta area about an hour ride from Kisumu town in Kenya. In September our volunteer came back to finish and improve the library with few computers and many many books.
In April we were happy to fix the ceiling, floors and walls of the first floor, get local carpenter to fix few bookshelves and plaster and paint the front side of the building. When I came back in September the library was open and functioning but there was still a lot to do. The building that Madam Tina from the community donated had the potential to become a three storey building and already had two floors. However, stairs were missing, the middle floor needed to be completely redone and the third floor was missing completely. After few days of planning I also decided to invest into electricity, which the library did not have and to build a missing 'bridge' or terrace between the library and a second floor of a small house next to it. There are two lovely rooms, which now can be used for volunteers, guests or librarians. The temporary structure that ensured the access to those rooms collapsed few years ago and so nobody was using those rooms for that time.
The reconstruction took almost two months, fundis were coming in small and big numbers almost every day but the boys and local volunteers also helped us to paint the walls, mope the floors or break the old floors.
The community organized two big meetings where they discussed the conditions for membership, book loans and volunteer rules. So far we have around 20 volunteers - men and women, young and old in this community all willing to spent their free time in the library, keeping it open and clean.
The community has decided to have few kinds of membership, the regular one for library users is 100KSh (1USD) per year, people can also get a combined membership library with computers where they on top of the price pay monthly small fee (few cents) that will be used for the electricity bills. Schools and large groups also have a special membership of 500Ksh (5USD) per year, this will involve a library tour organized by a trained volunteer.
We are now in a process of getting more members involved, and after the holidays we expect many schools to sign up and get more and more members. Apart of library, which is located on the first floor we have a music room with a bookshelf full of notes, music-related books and also religious books. Community suggested they can have their own music band and practice here. On the second floor there is also a room with five computers and soon volunteers would like to buy printer and copy machine so the students can copy and print their essays and homework and people can work on their CVs.
The top floor, which was built spontaneously is empty for now and is used for meetings. It is a beautiful round room with a pillar in the middle and decorations all around. There is a white space on the wall that is planned to be used for projecting movies, documentaries or sport events. At the moment we are looking for sponsor who would help us to get a small projector for this library.
The library is now open and we are now accepting volunteers to stay and help the community to run the library, suggest some improvements, organize workshops for recycling, painting, sewing, knitting, wood work... anything from which would the locals gain skills that can help them to get job or open their small business. Language lessons are also much wanted, languages that locals are interested in: German, French, Russian, Italian... and of course English for the very young ones or old people, who did not have the chance to learn the language.
If interested get in touch or fill in the volunteering form under section DONATE YOUR TIME on this website.