Books in even the worst circumstances
The Dandora Dumpsite in Nairobi, Kenya, is surrounded by a slum that’s home to over 141,000 people. The dumpsite is one of the world’s largest landfill sites covering 30 acres (or approximately 22 football pitches).
Poverty here is so great that children often drop out of school to help their parents make ends meet. But even informal employment is scarce and many men, women and children spend their time sifting through the landfill site for items to sell as well as leftover food to eat. The Dandora Dumpsite is their last hope.
But now an NGO set up by local young people, the Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group (DADREG), is working to give the men, women and children of Dandora new hope. They run a number of programmes focussed on supporting education and vocational training – and books you help to send are now an important part of their work.
“In Dandora, we do not have a library. The nearest library is around 10km away. Very few schools have libraries either and many pupils have no space to do their studies or access to reading materials,” says DADREG’s Executive Director George Onyango.
“So far, DADREG has helped five schools in the slum to set up libraries of their own and books from Book Aid International are helping these schools improve their library collections. They are contributing to an increase in learning.
The books are also supporting our efforts to equip the DADREG Community Development Centre with more reading materials. Now children can spend more time reading and doing their homework instead going to the dumpsite to work or scavenge for food.”
Bezalel Victory is one such local pupil who has been using the books available at DAGREG’s Community Development Centre to support his studies.
“My parents come from a humble background and struggled to go to school. But I finished high school and performed so well. I will be joining the University of Nairobi this year, thanks to support from DADREG and Book Aid International.
I used the books to improve my grammar – I used to often fail in this. So the books were a gleam of light to me as I had seen no story book before I came to DADREG. They improved my English grammar from D minus to B plus in the final national examination that is taking me to university.
If Book Aid International hadn’t sent these books, it is very clear – I would not have made such a great milestone as I have.”