Supporting the Agati Library
Agatiis a Kinyarwanda word meaning "small, growing tree".
There is a Rwandan proverb that says: for a tree to grow strong and healthy, it needs to be nourished and cared for from the very beginning of its life, when it is still an agati. It is in this context and realm of nurturing children and young people that Agati Library was created.
We are six friends who grew up walking and playing in the streets of our hometown of Musanze. Now, we are 22 to 24 years old, and we have come to understand the value of access to education at a young age because we know many neighbors, who were not able to pursue higher education due to drawbacks that are a common part of life in Musanze. We all share a desire to see Musanze transform into a community where children have a safe place to learn and cultivate their potential through reading.
We came together to create Musanze's first free community library for children and young people. We saved money for one year until we had the funds necessary to open the Agati Library in April of 2018. Since then, we have renovated our space, collected more than 3,500 books and become a learning sanctuary for hundreds of kids.
We have funded the library up to this point with our own money, but we are finding it difficult to continue paying since most of us are still students. Some of our founders are artists, and we use the profits from their artwork sales to help fund the library. It was from their successful art sales we formed our vision to change Agati Library into a financially self-sustaining establishment so that it can continue nourish youth for decades to come.
Our vision is to supplement the library with a community art gallery where members have place to create and sell their artwork. By providing canvasses and art supplies, we can empower members to be entrepreneurs and earn money for both the library and for themselves.
This fundraiser has 3 primary goals:
1) To pay the building rent and utility expenses for 2019, which will total $3,370 ($9 per day).
2) To purchase $1,500 worth of art supplies such as canvasses, acrylic paints and other necessary materials to produce approximately 200 paintings in order to fund the library expenses for 2020.
3) To purchase $230 worth of new books in subjects where some children have read all our current offerings. Any funds raised above $5,000 would be an immense bonus and would go towards purchasing additional books to our collection.
Our library is young and growing, exactly like an agati. We greatly appreciate your generosity in helping us provide an environment where the children of our community can learn and grow for generations to come.
The Agati Family