It is a chilly morning in Nyandarua county and to 17-year-old Leah Wangui Kibe who has been home barely two weeks since schools closed, it is not holiday as usual.
It is seemingly a long Saturday to a visibly confident Wangui who is expecting guests. The form Four student at the Kenya High School is preparing for a fundraising to upgrade a library facility that she has been running in her village since July last year.
Having applied for 12 scholarships including the government bursary, Wangui almost gave up until a scholarship came knocking.
The fourth born in a family of 10, who is a beneficiary of the AkiliDada scholarship fund under the Young Changemakers program, initially bought a few books worth Sh23,000. This was the balance of Sh90,000 that she had gotten from the area Constituency Development Fund. “I had applied for the funds in order to grow trees. Luckily, I got the money which I used Sh70,000 to buy seedlings for Tumaini Pimary, Kihoto and Moridante Primary Schools in Nyandara County. Within a short time, I had made Sh3,000 profit which I added onto the remaining balance to start this library,” she says.
The Young Changemakers Program creates opportunities for girls aged 13 to 19 to develop as servant leaders in their schools and communities. The program also offers the girls an avenue to learn how to identify issues and areas of need in their communities and build tangible solutions to address those issues.
She adds: “One day last year, I realized that my younger brother could not communicate in English at Class Three. That irked me and I vowed to do something to improve his education. I also knew there were many other children in our area who faced the same challenge. That is when I decided to start a library to address this. But I first bought my brother a storybook,” Wangui explained.
When after a few weeks her brother’s grammar improved, Wangui decided to start the Colour World Green Initiative Library located in Kirima Location, Thaba sublocation, Nyandarua Central Subcounty in Nyandarua County.
Kenyan teen opens library project in her Nyandarua village
Colour World Green Initiative Library serves both primary school and secondary school students who access the facility everyday between 9am and 5pm. On Saturdays, the library is opened between 10am and 4pm while on Sundays it is only open for two hours between 2pm and 4pm.
Wangui has appointed a committee of 12 community members who manage the library while she is in school. The Kenya High student who serves as the chair of the AkilDada club at the institution aspires to be a leader, not just for politics but to bring the way leaders address development challenges affecting the community.