From Books to Brilliance is partnering with the Kabati YMCA in Naivasha, Kenya to create the area's first public library. The library will occupy two rooms at the YMCA and community leaders will select a rich supply of books and materials and purchase them locally. Initially established for children, the library will grow to serve residents of all ages. This educational center will act as a catalyst for economic growth, helping to improve the lives of many Kenyans now living in abject poverty.
In the city of Naivasha no functional library exists. Of its more than 300,000 residents, few have access to educational resources. The YMCA is in Kabati, an area where many of its patrons dwell in slums and regularly witness criminal acts. During the pandemic people have lost jobs, which means more parents lack the funds to send their children to school. Student achievement is decreasing while illiteracy is increasing, and there is no safe space to read, study, or plan for the future.
A public library located inside the Kabati YMCA is ideal! It is already a place where young people gather to grow and sell produce, take business classes, and develop plans for their community. Centrally located, and supplied with books, puzzles, and games, this library will attract children from all the surrounding neighborhoods, whether enrolled in school or not. A staff member will serve as librarian, promoting a culture of reading and creating a safe, delightful learning space.
By providing a wide range of resources, this library has the potential to appeal to all residents, from pre-school to university students and young mothers. Adults will have the opportunity to learn profitable skills in the classes offered. Computer technology will be an integral part of the facility, exponentially expanding access to information. This first-ever Naivasha lending library will inspire creativity, strengthen citizens, promote economic growth and edify communities.