This is the second publication of our series of interviews Humans of Bookfeeding, where we introduce local Bookfeeders.
This time we interviewed Ben Peter Msiko, a very active member at Bookfeeding Project Koguta in Kenya and board member of the self-organised youth initiative Chill Club.
Carolin: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Ben: I am Msiko Peter Ben. Male. 22 years of age. I did my primary at St Benedict Primary School Likoni, Mombasa until 2010. Then I joined Naki High School 1-3 from 2011-2013 and transferred to Ndori Secondary School where I finished my secondary education, scored a C+ 58 points. Due to lack of money I never had a chance to go to the university. I am a Christian. I only have a mum, my dad died 2014 due to sickness. I don't work. I love my community and dedicated to serve and give back to it.
Carolin: How did you get involved in Bookfeeding Project?
Ben: I became a member of Bookfeeding Project through the public library built four years ago in my home village. Through the Bookfeeding library I got in contact with an initiative called Chill Club which involves youths in our community into different projects. This initiative was also started because the number of youths who were visiting and borrowing books in the lib was low.
Carolin: What is the Chill Club? What do you do?
Ben: We empower youths through the Chill Club. With the Chill Club team we organise different activities like clean-up days, where we get together and collect waste and burn it to have a cleaner streets. We also use drama to talk about life values, awareness, reproductive system, sexual life and many other topics. Through the Chill Club we have raised the number of young people using the library to do research. For example, if we decide on a specific topic that the Chill Club will focus on, people have to familiarise themselves with it and a good way to do research is at the public library. Younger children mostly come to the library during the weekend because after our studies we offer snacks for the kids and football.
Carolin: Are all the books that are currently at your library useful for you?
Ben: Yes but I won't say 100% because we still need more books for the schooling lot "Kenyan syllabus books" and we lack some books to research in the topics we give sometimes. It’s fine with the novels.
Carolin: Who else is involved in the Chill Club?
Ben: With the Chill Club everyone in the community is involved. Mostly youths aged 18 years and above. We have a board and I am in charge of the group. There’s also a coordinator Mr Kephers, Chairman Isaack, Secretary Madam Stacy and many other members.
Carolin: What is your goal in life? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Ben: I have many goals in life but serving and giving back to the community is my main goal. In the next five years I will have a peaceful loving community on my back. Quality education, quality health, clean water and shelter for the children and widows. In the next five years I will save my community not only from illiteracy but I'll introduce new farming techniques to the youths. Through the youths project self-employment there will be work for the youths. In the next five years I see myself in the right community!
Carolin: Thank you for this interview!