By Book Aid International
Published September 22, 2014
Isiolo in eastern Kenya may be an arid area without electricity. But it has school-going children who are thirsty for knowledge.
Isiolo Community Library, that opened in 2009 and serves a population of 100 000,is one of the latest libraries to be transformed through Book Aid International’s Childrenâ€™s Corners project.
The majority of people in Isiolo live in rural settlements outside the town and more than two-thirds of families earn their living through livestock farming. Children are often required to help at home with household chores and looking after livestock, so school attendance can be irregular. Around a third of boys and a quarter of all girls in this region drop out of primary school due to these pressures.
Although busy and well-used, before the Childrenâ€™s Corner was established Isiolo Library wasnâ€™t a particularly welcoming place for children. Now, with a collection of brand new books, training and resources, children are actively welcomed and encouraged as they begin their lifelong journey of reading.
Although Chief Librarian Rufus Githinji continues to petition Isiolo County Government to provide funding for electricity at the library, the children are for now happy to make the most of whatâ€™s on offer during daylight hours.