Kenyan Women Promote Literacy through Community Library

Naomi Yakawich
December 21, 2017

Thousands of students and women in Embakasi country, Kenya are receiving new opportunities to expand their literacy skills thanks to a community-wide library project initiated by the women’s division of Global Peace Foundation.

A group of adult women from Soweto-Embakasi sample books at the GPW Kenya library

The idea for the project was first presented in 2016 when Global Peace Women (GPW) and local stakeholders discussed educational challenges for women and youth. Plans were set in motion to develop a community-friendly library system to promote literacy in the area. The project has three major goals: equip 200 women with basic reading skills, improve the student to book ratio among five selected schools, and to provide 5,000 people with a variety of relevant reading materials.

A library would not only encourage literacy and open access to information and education, but also raise confidence, focus and commitment to education for youth in the area.

Locals took action to make the project a reality, starting with setting aside space in a community office building to serve as a library. Financing for the library is made possible through the sale of handmade crafts made by women and youth in Kenya.

Since its opening on November 15, twenty women have enrolled in the library’s adult education program run by volunteers with GPW Kenya. Numbers are expected to triple by the end of the year. Beginning in 2018, school administrators have agreed to create the space and infrastructure needed to implement the library project in their schools.

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