‘We love the new books!’
We love the new books!
– John, 10
John is just one of hundreds of children in Nairobi’s Mathare slum enjoying a revitalised children’s section in his local library.
Mathare covers just 3 square miles but is home to around 600,000 people. Children like John live with their families in small shacks, often without electricity and no room to play or study.
John and other young readers told us about their new Book Havens:
John, 10, comes to the library to read storybooks because he doesn’t have any at home and there are none in his school. John’s favourite books are the Beast Quest series. He loves the stories and pictures in them.
Thank you for giving us good books. We love the books!
Thirteen-year-old Cynthia’s favourite subject is science but there are very few course books available at her school. At home, she has two story books which were handed down to her. Cynthia loves the new books in her library and the colourful paint and drawings on the walls:
The library used to have old books with missing pages. I am happy that all the new books are interesting and colourful. I like the new paint on the walls. Everything in the library is now very nice. I feel happy when I come to the library because I am able to read many interesting books in a beautiful place that feels like heaven.
Jason, 12, lives about five minutes away from the library. The area he lives in is very noisy both during the day and at night. Jason’s favourite subject is maths and he would like to be a pilot when he grows up. Jason likes the changes to his library:
The library is very clean, there is no litter or dirt anywhere. I like the pictures on the wall, especially the one with a cartoon playing basketball. I feel happy when I see it and I like reading in the corner where the picture has been drawn.
Ann, 8, enjoys coming to the library to read storybooks and play. Her favourite book is Five Little Monkeys. Without books, she says she would not have anything to do.
Thank you so much. We are happy with the new books.
About Book Havens
In slum communities, access to books and finding a place to read can be particularly difficult. Our new Book Havens pilot aims to provide Kenyan children who face the day to day challenges of trying to learn in slum areas with safe, peaceful, welcoming spaces where they can explore beautiful, inviting books and be supported by trained staff and volunteers.
Two of MYSA’s libraries in Mathare took part in the Book Havens pilot and with your support we hope to extend the project to the rest of their libraries.
The librarians in these two libraries have attended training in working with children and the libraries themselves have received a donation of brand new children’s books to add to their collections, grants to decorate the children’s section and purchase child-sized furniture and a grant to purchase locally published books.
Find out more about our Book Havens project and our work with MYSA using the links below.