May 25, 2018 Key West, FL
Project Humanity, in partnership with the African Library Project and Rongo University in Migori County, recently traveled to Kenya and completed a significant next step in its venture to open school and community libraries in Southwest Kenya. Areas visited include Rusinga, Mfangano Islands, Mbita, Kindu Bay and Migori County. The objective was to visit more than 50 current and potential library sites for schools and community at large. In April 2018, a cargo container weighing 32,000 pounds arrived in Mombasa carrying 64,000 books.
The visit was highly welcomed by the teachers, students and parents. In response to an offer to apply to receive a future library, a principal said, “Who can say no to your offer? If you provide us those 1,000 books I will be the happiest.” Another one said, “This is an opportunity we can’t afford to lose!” To some schools having a library means something “special.” We have acquired a great deal and have witnessed the value of education to willing students and their eagerness to learn. For instance in a particular school, students bring their babies to school to acquire education. Some schools have low-performance rate and receive no government support. At times parents have to dig deeper into their pockets. Keep in mind, most don’t have stable jobs while others barely work.
As a condition for receiving a 1000-book library, schools must meet strict application standards which includes forming a library committee that will oversee the library, participate in training, provide space and shelving, and most importantly provide time for reading every week. Project Humanity staff and volunteers make regular visits to schools to very they are meeting the requirements.
As Nelson Mandela in the past said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” With the help of our partners, African Library Project and Rongo University, dreams are becoming true, and a better future is coming. In mid-June, Project Humanity volunteers from across the country will be arriving in Kenya to help distribute the 64,000 books to schools. The handover of books will be celebrated at Rusinga Island and Rongo University.