Sandestin Foundation for Kids began its partnership with Read Across Africa in May and made our first monthly contribution this month! There are many reasons why we are excited to partner with this great organization, one being that they run their program similar to Sandestin Foundation for Kids – 100% of all donations received goes toward helping children and their community.
Every dollar that is donated goes towards a book project, whether is for a reader, a reading program, or an entrepreneurial endeavor. The organization runs solely on volunteers and all operating costs are funded by private donors.
Read Across Africa rehabilitates unused homes in rural Kenya, converts them into libraries, then educates communities on self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship. Their library is open daily from 8:30am to 5:00pm and is open to anyone in the community to use free of charge. Kenya’s academic year is a little different than the United States, so August, November, and December become busy and exciting times for the library due to the children’s school breaks. Many community members are waiting for the library doors to open and by 11:00am the library is in full swing ending with around 100 – 120 children visiting and reading through the 17,500 books on the shelves.
The library is the first in the community and consists of five librarians and one library manager that are all trained in either library science or education. They function as both teachers and librarians to the children and community and their love for their work shines through their dedication to confront and solve the many challenges they must face in managing a rural library and education the community on the purpose of the library.
Not only do the children get the chance to expand their knowledge at the library, but they also get to have fun! Every Saturday morning, the library hosts an art session that allows children to come in and create a piece of artwork that is later shared with the community. While teaching and sharing knowledge with the communities future generation is a main focus, the library also caters to adults. They subscribe to various newspapers which allow the community to read up on business, civic and educational information and opportunities. They are also funding an entrepreneurial endeavor for some of the women in their community which allows the women to be trained in greenhouse farming. The women will manage, market, sell, and profit from the greenhouse project – with part of the proceeds being used to pay back the seed money, fund the library, and sustain the project. The women formed Mine Nyalo (Women Can) women’s group and are currently in the process of fertilizing the soil to establish their first greenhouse.
Read Across Africa still has many more projects they are looking to fund and install in the community, including sustaining renewable energy, gaining reliable computer and internet access, and creating formal music education. They are also looking to expand to Ethiopia and Uganda. Read Across Africa is unique in that 100% of the donations received goes toward helping children and their community.
Every dollar that is donated goes towards a book project, whether is for a reader, a reading program, or an entrepreneurial endeavor. The organization runs solely on volunteers and all operating costs are funded by private donors. Sandestin Foundation for Kids runs its organization in a similar fashion and is so happy to partner with a charity that has the same values and goals.
For more information on Read Across Africa, you can visit their webpage by clicking here.