Our new librarian Jeremiah Saitoti!
Thanks to your generosity we have made huge gains towards opening the computer lab at the Elangata Wuas Resource Centre. Working in close partnership with a local Community Based Organization that manages library operations, as well as our two fantastic interns from McGill University, we have been able to purchase and transport equipment to the resource centre, create a lab management plan, and hire a new librarian and a Computer Lab manager!
Additionally, all three of our librarians attended the Maria's Libraries training session in Busia between July 18th and 20th where they learned additional computer skills and discussed programming with other community librarians.
At the end of July, ten brand new MSI X-slim laptops arrived in Elangata Wuas care of our interns from the University College of Utrecht African Field School. They had been shipped from Boston to Holland, carried with the interns to Tanzania, and then brought to Kenya. Currently the librarians and our interns are working together to load up these laptops with a long list of educational and other useful software before the lab opens. Our interns have also been busy purchasing security materials for the laptops, and gathering estimates from different companies for the installation of additional solar panels and batteries required to run the lab. The solar panels installation is currently taking place and we will update you with photos as soon as it is complete!
Isaac Leken Kakeni, our Computer Lab Manager is from the town of Singiraine. He is fluent in English, Swahili, and Maa, has completed a computer training college certificate, has teaching experience at Singiraine Primary School, and is currently finishing up his diploma in business management at Moi University in Narok. He also has experience with computer programming, and worked as an enumerator during the 2009 National census. He has been working hard all month getting the computers and internet system for the lab set up, as well as working on the lab management plans.
Jeremiah Saitoti, our new librarian, is excited to join the library at such a momentous time: "I am now working in the Elangata-wuasResource Center, a place I have been admiring since before I came to work there. I found it to be the best place for a person like me to be who likes reading storybooks and story telling. I would like to congratulate the Africa SOMA organization and all the well-wishers who made their effort to built such a center, which is very beneficial to the community and the outskirts."
We are looking forward to the lab officially opening in the coming month or two, and will keep you updated with our progress until then. Once again, thank you so much for your support. Please consider spreading the word to friends or family that we are still seeking support for some items like the internet subscription, our coordinator's salary, and additional furniture in the lab.
Our interns Claire and Emily with a friend.