By supporting children, our work can have the maximum possible impact in the long-term.
In 2017, the books we provided had a clear impact on children in primary schools, secondary schools and on those reading in libraries located in slum communities. We found that access to books encouraged children to read more, improved their academic performance and increased young readers’ confidence.
Increasing reading in slum communities
Children in Nairobi’s Mathare and Kibera slum communities have few opportunities to discover books and improve their life chances. They live in crowded communities with few public services and crime, gangs and drug use are daily realities.
In 2017, we worked with the Kenya National Library Service and local NGO The Mathare Youth Sports Association to create Book Havens in three slum libraries, providing beautiful children’s books, local books, murals, child-sized furniture and inviting book displays. We also trained librarians in how to support young readers. After the Book Havens opened we saw two key changes:
More children are visiting all three libraries. The refurbishment has made the libraries more inviting for children and more children are drawn in to see the colourful murals on the wall and read the new books.