Building Bright Futures Through Libraries and Learning
Project Humanity is committed to advancing educational opportunities for women and children in Homa Bay and Migori counties in southwest Kenya. We have spent time talking to those who live in the region, including representatives of the Ministry of Education, teachers, principals, and community leaders. In effort to make as much of an impact as possible in southwest Kenya, Project Humanity has partnered with Rongo University College and the African Library Project to establish school and community libraries in Homa Bay and Migori counties.
As part of the partnership agreement signed in 2016, the African Library Project is coordinating book drives in the U.S. where volunteers will collect, sort, and pack gently used children’s books and raise money to ship them to Mombasa, the port in Kenya. Rongo University College and Project Humanity are working together in the region to promote the establishment of local library committees and to train teacher librarians. In May 2017 we facilitated the acceptance and transport of a cargo container of 32,000 books provided by the African Library Project and helped to open 32 school and community libraries in 2017. We are now in the process of vetting local school applications and fundraising for 60 more libraries in 2018.
This partnership addresses the critical need to provide access to books in a part of the world where a majority of students do not have access to a school or community library. Additionally, many students are required to learn core subjects like writing, math, and science without the benefit of books. Lack of funding and access to learning materials are two of the top reasons why a majority of Kenyan children don’t complete high school.
Local community leaders, teachers, and parents who want a library are required to form a local library committee responsible for meeting minimum requirements for receiving books from the African Library Project. These requirements include finding a suitable space for establishing and maintaining a 1,000-book library with sufficient shelving, receiving library training, making time for reading in the classroom, and covering the local costs associated with receiving the books. Rongo University College and Project Humanity are working together to evaluate library committee applications to join the program, provide training, and monitor library usage and performance.
This fall book drives will be coordinated for 60 libraries which will be delivered to Kenya in late spring 2018.
You Can Do a Book Drive!
Visit African Library Project to learn more.
Nyamuga Special School
As part of its focus on education, for the past three years Project Humanity has been working closely with the Nyamuga Special School to improve living and learning conditions. As its name suggest, Nyamuga is a school and home for nearly 120 children who are impacted with various developmental disabilities. But proving that kids are still kids, whatever challenges the students of Nyamuga face they more than make-up for it in their hunger and enthusiasm for learning. They also have an uncompromising willingness to provide assistance and support to one another (these are extraordinary kids!).
Since 2016, Project Humanity volunteers have raised over $2000 to purchase desks and chairs specifically designed to meet the physical needs of the children at Nyamuga. The furniture was manufactured near Rusinga, which also contributed to supporting the local community.
Project Humanity volunteers also worked hand-in-hand with the children of Nyamuga to paint the rooms of their new dorm building. We also donated toothbrush kits and provided additional funds for the school to purchase a three-month supply of grains.
We are looking for additional opportunities to support these very special children.