Dear Friends of Maria’s Libraries,
It is time to check in with you about our building project! First, we wanted to thank you for your support. This project is moving forward because of you. Next, some details on fundraising and on the project itself:
As you may know, raising funds to initiate construction on a fully-equipped, modern library in Busia is our primary fundraising goal in 2012, and we are on track to accomplish this goal. While we are doing this in part on Global Giving, where you donated, we are also fundraising through our website and through a series of events in the US. Events thus far this year have raised over $2000, and we will hold a major event in New York City in the spring to do the bulk of our offline fundraising for this project. Watch this space or like us on Facebook for details; we hope that you join us, and that you spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues.
Further, Eva is currently Kenya working on both fundraising and construction. Our colleagues in Busia are full participants in fundraising for their own library, and while Eva was there last week she hammered out with them the details of a plan to raise their contribution to the project. This week, Eva has moved on to Mombasa, to visit Architronic's Joe Mugo, who has already developed a conceptual design (see the drawings in our project document), and who is ready to begin working on the detailed drawings. These will be designed based on specifications that came out of meetings among local stakeholders in Busia; end user research conducted by Maria’s Libraries; the needs of the management of the future library—Kenya National Library Services; on green building principles and using wherever possible local materials and local labor.
Eva has been posting her thoughts regularly on the Maria's Libraries blog. Check it out!
You might also be interested to learn that since the land in Busia has been fenced by Kenya National Library Services this winter, the local committee (FASSCO) has been holding its meetings there. This has been a nice development for two reasons—first, FASSCO now has a designated, quiet space where they can hold their planning meetings, and second, the activity there has been raising more awareness and enhancing community interest in the project. We imagine that these effects will be felt even more strongly in the coming months, as they intend to move their periodic “reading tent” events, typically held on the site of the existing library, to the location of the new library.
Finally, visit our project page on Global Giving to view a new video made in collaboration with Maria's Libraries staff, Busia community members, and great friend of Maria's Libraries, Ayelet Leibovitch.
We are thrilled at these developments as we raise the funds for the new building.
Best, Ariel and Eva