“Books are very important. We’ll survive on them.”
Ezekiel is the Head Teacher at Koriema Primary School, one of the schools participating in our Inspiring Readers programme to bring Book Box Libraries into under resourced schools in Kenya.
The school is in a poor area of the Northern Rift Valley of Kenya where many families struggle to put enough food on the table. Ezekiel’s pupils often come to school hungry, surviving on one meal a day.
Ezekiel told us how, in these challenging circumstances, he believes the books you help to send are the key to pulling his community out of poverty:
When I see books in school, I see the success of this school. In a school with books, there is knowledge and there is prosperity.
In this area, there is a problem with food. This school is in a semi-arid region. It is hot and there is no growing of crops. Most people keep some free animals – that is the main economic activity that they do.
Because of this environment, pupils come from poor backgrounds. Children come to school hungry. In fact they survive on just one meal. Their families cannot afford meals. Some of them fall asleep in class because of hunger. Some of them come to school without pens. There are so many basic needs they are lacking.
We are going to solve this long term problem once and for all if you continue giving us books. Some may think that it’s better to be given food instead of books. Food is for the stomach and it will help, but books are for knowledge and knowledge is long-lasting. So you see when they get the books, they learn, they perform better, they go for further studies, they come back, they get good jobs and now the communities will improve.
Parents will get food, they will get clothing, they will get good houses, they will get water through these people. Once we have many people working in the community then food will never be a problem again.
So, books are very important. We’ll survive on them aside from food.
We would like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for funding Inspiring Readers in Kenya. Learn more about our work in Kenya and our Inspiring Readers programme using the links below.