Teach 75 mothers to read stories to kids in Kenya

by Maria's Libraries
Feb 8, 2012

Crowdsourcing Translations for Local Languages

Wazee looking over Kiteso translations
Wazee looking over Kiteso translations

Dear Friends of Mama Mtoto,

Habari yako from Busia! 

Lots to report on Mama Mtoto from here in Busia.  In particular, the book that the Mamas in Busia published is a wild hit!  Schools and parents have started to request copies of it.  We’re hoping that the library can sell them, which can help to pay some salaries, fund another round of the Mama Mtoto project and maybe contribute towards the building of the new library.

However, as per request of some of the mamas, first we’re doing the translations over.  Since both the Samia and Teso in Busia are dialects of local languages, there are no official versions of the language.  We thought about how to get a “correct” translation in such a context, and we decided to. . . . crowd-source it! That’s right, we’re taking it to the people of Busia to contribute their translations, just like people contribute to definitions on Wikipedia.  However, this crowd isn’t on-line –we put the word out for Samia and Teso speakers from Busia to physically come to the library and help us translate.  I had the opportunity to sit with Esther for some of these translations, and it was really the highlight of my trip.   See below for pics and video of two wazee helping with the Teso translation.

We’ve talked to our colleagues in Elangata Wuas, and they are also about to reprint the new books, for sale in Maasai land.  I’m headed to Lamu and Garissa (safety permitting) next to get the scoop there as well.

So we're entering the last stretch on this project.  The last bit we're working on is to bring all the librarians back together to share lessons learned and to come up with a final document which can help librarians in other communities implement this project.  We're hoping to do that before the summer-- you assistance to make this happen is much appreciated!

As ever, asante for your support, 

Eva and Ariel  


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Maria's Libraries

Location: Brooklyn, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.mariaslibraries.org
Maria's Libraries
Project Leader:
Eva Kaplan
Brooklyn, NY Kenya

Retired Project!

This project is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Find another project in Kenya or in Women and Girls that needs your help.
Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.