These computers are used to teach essential computer skills to Likoni youth and enable the library to cover its running costs through fees for internet browsing. The library’s arcade is used by Hatua and other community organizations to host training sessions.
Educators throughout our community agree that a major cause of poor performance is the challenge students face when trying to study at home. Most families in Likoni live in a single, overcrowded room. According to Hatua’s research, 27% of homes in Likoni also lack electricity. Studying in such conditions is more than difficult.
The work to create a library began in 2006 when teachers convinced Likoni’s Constituency Development Fund to construct a library building. The building was completed in 2009, but a year and a half after construction, was not equipped.
A community committee was created in October 2010, representing nine Likoni schools, the District Office of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the National Youth Council and Hatua Likoni. Hatua held a Harambee (fundraiser) in February 2011 and over $2,000 was raised for constructing furniture.
The SDL Foundation donated $5,250 for furniture and to equip the Library’s computer lab, American Friends of Kenya donated over 6,000 books, KNLS also donated 400 books and the East Side Community High School in New York City donated books and book cataloging materials. Thanks to our supporters, we were able to construct shelves, tables and computer desks. We wired electrical outlets, installed fans, purchased 10 computers and installed library automation software. We would also like to thank the Kenya Education Fund for their donation of 10 CPUs.
To manage the library is a big job that requires expertise, so in May 2012, Hatua hired Evans Wafula as Head Librarian. We also hired the 2011 graduates of our scholarship program to help enter books into the Library’s automated system.
The library is now a popular stop for students who need to concentrate on their studies and those who need to browse the internet at an affordable rate.