Tag Archives: Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group

Reading in Dandora community centre

A place to read during lockdown

The Dandora slum in Nairobi, Kenya, sits on the edge of one of the world’s largest landfill sites. It is home to some 141,000 people who, like the rest of Kenya, are having to largely stay at home due to lockdown measures imposed because of Covid-19.

 

For the children and young people living in Dandora, there is often little space and few resources or books at home for them to continue learning while their schools are closed.

So local NGO DADREG (Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group) which operates a centre in the middle of Dandora has opened its doors during lockdown to provide children with safe a place to read and learn using the books supporters like you help to send.

Here, DADREG’s Director, George Onyango and Catherine, a student who regularly uses the centre, tell us more:

DADREG's centre
DADGREG’s centre in the middle of Dandora is providing local children with a place to read and learn during lockdown (photo taken before Covid-19)

George

“The closure of schools and colleges has come with challenges for young girls and boys, especially those living in slums. Their homes are often not conducive for studying and they are looking for spaces to do their studies and be taught.

Also, idleness is leading to early pregnancies for girls and for boys, joining gangs. Some research has shown that since the pandemic, in Nairobi alone, over 12,000 schoolgirls have become pregnant and this worries us a lot.

This is the reason why we have opened up our centre – to allow young girls to access reading materials and do their studies.

This is the reason why we have opened up our centre – to allow young girls to access reading materials and do their studies. DADREG is providing a refuge to the girls and young boys. We are of course practising social distancing.

What we are doing is that those young men and women that DADREG has supported and continue to support in colleges and universities come to the centre to teach the children. The young men and women are acting as mentors to the primary and secondary school students and it is really helping them.”

Reading in the DADREG centre
Many children, especially girls, are coming to DADREG’s centre every day to use books, read and study

Catherine

“Since schools were closed on 16th March, I have had a lot of free time to catch up on where I was left behind. Though I have not had ample time to study at home.

But by coming to DADREG to study, I have been able to carefully manage my work schedule. I am able to conduct personal studies here as well as useful group discussions. Here I am also able to attend some online lessons which is not really possible at home.

Being able to access books and read while my school is closed has been really helpful.

Being able to access books and read while my school is closed has been really helpful. This will help me to improve my grades because I am able to cover a lot in my study areas. Reading and studying at DADREG will surely be fruitful when I get back to school.

I’ve also been reading a storybook called Once Upon a Twist. It is a great way to relax my mind after a long day of endless studying. The book has also given me the challenge to improve my creativity. It is written in a fashionably creative form making it have much suspense.

I really appreciate the books that Book Aid International has sent to us students!”

 

*Header photo taken prior to lockdown restrictions

 

Reading activity in Uganda

Enjoying stories across the world

The books that supporters like you help to send are loved by children across the world!

Here, we’ve gathered together some of their favourite reads which they shared with us to mark World Book Day on the 5th March:

 

Reading can open up a whole new world to the reader, you can become whoever you want to be – a pirate, a spy, a princess, or an animal. By reading you can travel, explore new worlds, and go on adventures. All that is possible just by opening up a book.

– Clarissa, Street Children Empowerment Foundation, Ghana.

 

Thimpu, Bhutan

Bhutan book club

 

Keen young readers in Thimpu, Bhutan, love visiting their local READ Model Centre after school where Ms. Yangcen leads read aloud sessions. Recently, she read I Love Mum with the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 

Dandora, Nairobi, Kenya

Enjoying books at DADREG's library in Nairobi

 

In Nairobi’s Dandora slum in Kenya, the community library run by our partner DADREG is a place that children love to visit to share stories. It’s a place that keeps them busy away from the local landfill site where many of them often join their families to sift for items to sell to make ends meet:

Reading storybooks puts smiles on our faces and books make learning exciting!

Ghana

Enjoying books in Ghana

 

In Ghana, the kids at the schools and libraries supported by our partner Rainbow Trust love to read all sorts of books; here they show off just a few of them!

We love reading these books because they are colourful and packed full of fun! Some of the books, like Samson: The Mighty Flee and The Wildest Cowboy encourage the children that with perseverance, they can succeed.

Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya

The kids who read at Mathare Youth Sport Association’s (MYSA) libraries in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya, are lucky enough to have lots of staff and volunteers who read all sorts of stories with them.

Sharing stories at MYSA in Kenya

 

At MYSA’s Mathare North Library the kids recently listened to Librarian Stephen reading We Could Help:

Here in the Mathare slums, people litter everywhere so I chose ‘We Could Help’ so the children realise that they can join hands to clean their communities for a better tomorrow.

– Stephen

And Library Attendant Charles, read them The Little Dancer and Other Stories – because they love to dance!

Sharing stories at MYSA in Kenya

Most of the children I was reading the story to are in the library dancing club. So I thought the story might encourage them to continue dancing and maybe think of starting a ballet dancing club in the library.

– Charles

 

Banjul, The Gambia

Reading at Gambia National Library Service Authority

 

All sorts of children’s fiction and non-fiction books are loved by the kids who read at the Gambia National Library Service Authority’s library! They especially love story books.

 

Kpando, Ghana

Sharing stories in class in Ghana

 

The kids at Delta Preparatory School’s Library Club (which gets books from its local Ghana Library Authority branch) love sharing the The Stone Age to the Iron Age book and learning how tools and farming techniques have changed.

 

Gaza Strip and the West Bank

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, our partner Tamer Instuitue for Community Education organises all sorts of reading workshops and activities, book launches, discussions and good old read alouds!

 

Musanze, Rwanda

Reading at Agati Library in Rwanda

 

In Rwanda, the kids at Agati Library in Musanze particularly love to be read Momo and Snap, a picture book about the ups and downs of the friendship between a young monkey and a young crocodile.

Reading Momo and Snap creates a feeling of excitement, thrill and even friendship.

Gwanda, Zimbabwe

Young readers at the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library in Zimbabwe love Funnybones so much that they request it again and again!

 

Tonkolili, Sierra Leone

Reading at Tonkolili District Library

 

In Sierra Leone, children enjoy reading all sorts of books and stories but at Tonkolili District Children’s Library, The Dinosaur Who Pooped A Lot! is a particular favourite!

 

Jamestown, Accra, Ghana

Sharing stories at Street Children Empowerment Foundation in Ghana

 

The children at Street Children Empowerment Foundation’s library in Accra, Ghana are currently reading a book called Mine:

The children love the illustrations and we chose this book because it teaches the children how important sharing is. Sharing spreads happiness – and so do books!

 

We are continuing to work with our partners as much as possible and support them wherever we can as they respond to COVID-19 and find new ways to give as many people as possible access to brand new books.

 

Reading in Dandora community centre

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.

 

Dandora Dumpsite
Many people in Dandora spend their days searching through the rubbish to find items to sell or food to eat.

“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.

 

Reading in Dandora Community Centre
Children from Dandora come to DADREG’s Community Development Centre to read and learn from books you help to send.

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.

 

Bezalel Victory
Bezalel Victory used books you help to send to support his studies and now he’s off to university!

“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.”