Staff from our Community Library first met Vincent hanging around on a large playground just round the corner from the library in Kibera. Vincent would be playing with friends or collecting recyclable items to sell. Our staff took time to say hi and get to know him and invited him to the library. Soon Vincent became a regular visitor to the library, exploring the different storybooks or books about science and nature.
Vincent lives with his single-mother who works hard to provide for him. She leaves the house early to look for work and often returns late. She was unable to follow up and ensure that Vincent was going to school each day and over time he lost interest and dropped out.
But spending time in the library has changed Vincent’s mind. He’s discovered a new love for books and a fresh interest in learning. He has returned to school this year and is now in Class 5 at a nearby primary school.
We long to see more and more children in Kibera like Vincent find a new joy for reading and learning, exploring and feeding their curiosity. This is why we’re really pleased to have been awarded a grant by Better World Books to buy new books and paint a mural to attract more children to the library. We particularly want to use this grant to get more of the primary school textbooks and revision books that our library users have been requesting. We also plan to introduce more local fiction material. We want the children to be able to read stories set in a context that they recognise and in Kiswahili – one of the national languages.
We are incredibly grateful to Better World Books for getting behind our vision and supporting us in this way.