Project information

Community Library Kenya

Spreading the joy of reading by converting a 40ft container into a fantastic library. This will be our second library and we know from experience how much fun, happiness and benefits library brings. We are looking for people willing to help.

July 2016 - August 2016

Charity information: Just Be A Child

Just Be A Child logo
  • Need


    Literacy is low. Children's interest in reading is even lower. But we believe that it is simply due to the lack of access to fun, easy to read and available books. We hope that by engaging children in reading, the adults will also learn a thing or two. We also hope that by reading imagination of better future will be sparked. Children will also have a safe, secure and quiet space to study, hang out and read.


    The library, a converted container, will provide books for children of all ages, will give the local community librarians purpose and responsibility, will act as a centre for other activities bringing the community together and allowing individuals to help the rest of the community improve their reading, writing and other transferrable skills. We aim to train librarians in library operations, train community leaders in teaching skills and ensure books are looked after and more importantly read.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To secure a shipping container.


    » We are searching for the cheapest possible 2nd hand yet shipping certified container.

    Without the container there will be no library. The container will have to be secured and the progress documented via our website and Facebook.

    Aim 2

    To raise funds for shipping and converting the container.


    » Contacting local businesses, schools, clubs and individuals. Also biding for institutional funding when available and appropriate.
    » Working with local media, schools, clubs and organisations on collecting books, games, puzzles, stationary and furniture.
    » Looking for volunteers to come to Kenya with us to help us convert the container into a spectacular library.
    » Working with Kenyan communities to prepare them for the arrival of the library and trained local librarians.

    A measure of our fundraising will be posted on our website and Facebook. Updates will also be published in local press, our newsletter and other media.

    Aim 3

    To train librarians and community teachers/leaders.


    » Librarians, volunteers, will be trained to ensure accurate records are kept and the data can be used to support, or not, our next library project.
    » Ladies within the community will be provided training in English reading which they will be able to use to help children and other members.

    Training will be monitored and feedback from trainees collated. We aim to train approximately 10 librarians and 70 teachers. The sessions will be documented and photographed.

    Aim 4

    To act as a good case study for our further library projects.


    » The data on usage and use of the library will help us decide our future projects. We will therefore have to introduce accurate data keeping.
    » The local community members themselves will be used for training our next partners, thus teaching their fellow community members.

    Feedback from the community, library users and librarians will be collected. We anticipate over 200 users and we foresee the library becoming a central hub for the community.

  • Impact


    The literacy rates of children in the vicinity will improve. The library will be accessed by local schools. Adults will inspire to learn to read so they can read to the younger children. We will publicise and publish stories, document long-term impacts by interviews and surveys, engage local leaders in providing inspirational talks to the wider community and organise reading and writing competitions which we anticipate will see 70% increase in participation rate within the first 12 months.


    Money will not be raised to ship the container - alternative solutions are already considered involving temporary structure.
    Books may be stolen or damaged - work with the local community has already been undertaken and so far the community proved responsible and willing to maintain other facilities we have provided.
    Too many children will be using the library - the librarians will work on creating schedule and special event calendar.


    All donors will be encouraged to follow us on Facebook. They will receive regular updates in the form of emails and letters. They will be provided with statistical evidence of the library's impact on the wider community. They will be encouraged to engage in a two-way conversation and visit Kenya.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,000 Container In case we will be unsuccessful in securing free container we will need to purchase one
      £4,000 Shipping To transport the container to the shipping dock in the UK, transport to Mombasa, and to Ukunda
      £2,000 Conversion Converting a container into a beautiful and comfortable library
      £2,000 Training Training sessions for 10 librarians and 70 community teachers

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Rotary £1,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The library is to be located at Dzunga Youth Group ground, Ukunda, Kenya. Our partner in the last 12 months proved to be an asset, eager to learn, responsible and reliable. We have already worked on first-ever community playground and a volleyball court. We have built up a great rapport, relationship and trust. Dzunga holds the deed to the land, thus guaranteeing longevity of the project.


    The most deprived area of Darad, Ukunda, Kenya with approximately 75% of children not being able to attend school due to the lack of funds. We anticipate that approximately 200 children per week will use the library and approx. 100 adults. The community has undergone dramatic changes since starting to work with JBAC and we have already seen positive changes leading to community development and cooperation.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have the knowledge and expertise in community development especially in the African context. Our expertise lies in changing communities from within by working with their members on issues that are important to them. By managing expectations and involving the community every step of the way. We have great relationship and a large number of local volunteers. We work very closely with our donors and beneficiaries and we work very transparently and fairly.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Lenka McAlinden

    As an Anthropologist with the expertise in behaviour change, Lenka has already impacted positively and created supporters and volunteers.

    Juma Mwakina

    Juma is a local volunteer which since starting with JBAC has returned to study Community Development. His network in Ukunda is invaluable to us.

    Dzunga Youth Group

    A community based organisation working with us for the past 12 months has the manpower, the volunteers and the knowledge of the local community.

    Alex Lang

    His knowledge of logistics, international transport, fundraising and local, UK, community supporters is unparalleled and a great asset to us.

The Story of our First Library


Every £100 will get us 68 nautical miles closer

This is the only library we have. The nearest one is in Mombasa, 60km away. We are extremely fortunate.