We love how libraries transform lives and admire the great work carried out by the Michael Cronhelm Foundation Trust and Libraries Without Borders.
We are pleased to be able to provide our support to these organisations.
The Michael Cronhelm Foundation Trust
The Michael Cronhelm Foundation Trust (MCFT) began working in Ileret, in Northern Kenya in 2009. Since then, they have built a much needed community library (The Michael Cronhelm Memorial Library), started a preschool, and in 2014, began assisting the El Bokoch Primary school, located several kilometres from Ileret township.
When we met with Amy Cronhelm, one of the Trust’s founders and an active volunteer, we gained an insight into the huge commitment and hard work that goes into setting up educational facilities in this remote location. We also learnt about what a library means to the people of Ileret and how the children have benefited enormously by having access to books. Not only have they jumped a grade in their national exams, the library has become a treasured and busy area of learning for all ages.
We loved this letter about what a library means to Simon Esho, Class eight, Ileret.
(Grammar and spelling is as he wrote it).
“Dear Michael Cronhelm
I thank you to help us a learning place for pupls and I am happy for every days and every year. Thank for you to come very far distance and come back to help us. When I am in lower classes I ‘m a very dull boy because the good these library books I became clever boy.”
Read more letters from the people of Ileret
In 2015, MCFT and the Michael Cronhelm and Taft Conlin Foundation jointly took over the ownership and running of the El Bokoch school. Since then they have embarked on an expansion project which includes building four new classrooms, a library and the teacher’s accommodation.
Approximately 4,000 hand-made bricks were made for phase 2 of the build. Construction in this harsh environment is incredibly challenging. Amy says, “One of the core objectives was to up-skill the local Daasanach people who worked on the project. By hiring local people we have not only given them much needed income but more importantly empowered them with building skills and raised their sense of participation and contribution to the project”.
Learn more about the Michael Cronhelm Foundation
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Libraries Without Borders
Founded in 2007 in France, at the initiative of Patrick Weil, Libraries Without Borders (LWB) is today one of the leading non-governmental organisations working in knowledge and culture-based development in the world and supporting libraries in developing countries.
LWB is present in over 20 countries and supports local initiatives through the creation of libraries to promote education, access to information and culture and the conservation of cultural heritage. Through creating and reinforcing libraries, training librarians, distributing books, supporting local publishing and designing library networks, LWB actively promotes access to knowledge throughout the world.
From Patrick Weil, Chairman and Founder of LWB
“Today’s world is home to 795 million illiterate adults and 72 million children not in school. Hundreds of millions more—children and adults—have no access to books due to lacking resources. In the few public libraries in developing countries, fundamental works in world literature and sciences are often absent. In some of them, the most recent works date back to a half-century ago. And this doesn’t include whole regions where libraries do not exist.
I’ve often noted the role that books and libraries play in the success of students coming from the poorest environments. So many women, men and children would see their futures transformed if they could access books. A book does more than convey knowledge and provide an opening to something new. It’s also an essential instrument in exercising the critical mind and in the education for democracy. Finally, a book is also and must increasingly become an essential driver of sustainable development. Placed in a library, it moves from hand-to-hand and from generation to generation.
We want to respond to this vital need for books, culture, and information in developing regions. In doing this, we provide relief in humanitarian emergencies and the building blocks for longterm development. Finally, by promoting the access to knowledge, we wish to strengthen the aspirations for democracy, justice, and dialogue between cultures across the world.” Patrick Weil
Out of the box: Ideas that excite at Yungngora (by Libraries Without Borders)
The Yungngora Aboriginal Community in the Kimberley is road testing a revolutionary, high-tech portable library that promises benefits for people of all ages. The 90 square metres of pop-up library and digital resources encourage diverse engagement, from reading to producing short films. Take a look…