Expanding education with books
Aaron grew up in rural Kenya with little access to books or education. Now a qualified nurse, Aaron is using books to further his studies and meet the needs of his local community.
My name is Aaron, I am a student at KMTC College Nairobi. I’m a registered nurse studying a specialisation in nephrology nursing, which some people call renal or dialysis nursing.
I decided to specialise in nephrology nursing because while I was practising, I saw there were a lot of patients suffering from kidney-related diseases, some with chronic kidney disease. I realised there was a gap in specialist nephrology nurses so decided to take this course to meet the need.
Right now I live in Nairobi. I live in an informal settlement because I cannot afford to pay rent in a good place.
I don’t have a good time studying at home because it is noisy. The room is small – I can’t have a bed, table and chair at the same time. Another challenge is there is no internet. So I spend most of my time in the library at the college.
The books in the library have helped me a lot. They are my first source of knowledge, especially when I need to study something deeply that hasn’t been covered in class. I have a favourite book, Nephrology Secrets, that is the best and I can get everything from it. Another favourite is a handbook for dialysis nurses. The variety of books in the library is motivating because I can compare the information.
So many books have helped me in so many ways. I never thought I would benefit so much from having a library where I could access those books.
When I was young, I never had access to books. I was raised in a marginalised community with very little access to libraries and my school was not well equipped.
My father took me out of the rural area and to a nearby town that was more developed. That was when I started developing an interest in reading.
Many people in the place I come from have not learned, have not gone to school and have not engaged with books. If I compare myself now, having done my diploma, I can say that books give power. I have friends who have done master’s degrees and I can see they feel the power inside them. I can see a very big difference.
My hope for the future is that I will see the first generation who are never lacking a book, that they can have the privilege that I never had when I was young.
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All images Ⓒ Natalia Jidovanu.
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