Started in 2014 as an open air makeshift of a library THE SMALLEST LIBRARY IN AFRICA is a community library based in informal settlement of Mugure , in Nairobi Kenya. Mugure is a remote community with a population growth of 4,500 people majority being school going children between 5 years and 17 years of age.
High prevalent rate of poor school performance, school dropout, drug abuse , early teenage pregnancy and unskilled labour are some of the social –economic indicators associated with Mugure community.
With no safe space for children and youths that would advance their growth and change their mindset, The Smallest Library In Africa was birthed to provide conducive reading space and extra reading materials. Apart from books the library provides lifelong life-skills for adolescent and teens, scholarship to needy children, indoors and outdoors activities like chess, scrabbles and sports and distribution of sanitary pads.
With only 1 dollar (100ksh) the library was initiated by a 21 year old Cyril Peter Otieno who was born and bred in Mugure community and endured the above mentioned challenges. Cyril is a diploma holder in community development and Young African Leadership Initiative alumnae (YALI) and his vision for the library is to transform and build Mugure and surrounding communities through provision of free access to ideas and information.
Today, over 200 schools going children are able to access our reading spaces and this has seen great improvement in school performance especially at both primary and secondary levels.Cases of early teenage pregnancies have decreased as more girls and boys are trained on sexuality and the importance of abstinence. More on this, girls have also benefited from our free pads distribution renewable and non -renewable dignifying their womanhood. Smaller children as early as 5years have benefited from our art and grammar lessons and storytelling sessions.The chess and scrabble club has helped in brain development and critical thinking hence building on their self-esteem while introduction of sports has led to more children discovering their talents.
In 2017, the library transitioned to 3 rental premises which provided us with more time and space to accommodate more children. However in August 2019 that library was evicted due to its inability to pay three monthly rental arrears of 450 dollars (45,000ksh).
Today the library is based in a temporary small tent which has limited our operations as the bad weather has forced us to close most of the time. This has taken us backwards as our beneficiaries can’t access our library and other services on a consistence manner.
Therefore, our fundraising objective is to raise funds for the renovation of an old structure with a long term goal of buying the space. This will enable us to accommodate more children , cut down our operation cost and introduce more programs that meets community needs like ICT space, online digital training for unemployed youths and financial literacy for women with small businesses. The first 15% of the donation will be channeled to renovating this space.
Through your donation you will be part of our amazing journey of building a community that is part of the global change. You can also join our fundraising team and invite your friends and colleagues to help.
“I shall pass this way but once; any good therefore I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it for i shall not pass this way again”
For more information you can write us via our email address [email protected]
Thank you in advance for your kind support.