- KEY provides libraries to schools targeting Kenya’s over 80% of children living in
poverty and without access to books and educational technology.
- Participants will be drawn from the 46 libraries KEY has provided and other
Nairobi, 24 th April 2023… Knowledge Empowering Youth (KEY) has launched a first-of-its-kind workshop aimed at enhancing professional and leadership development for school librarians. The workshop gathers over 46 librarians and education stakeholders from across the country for the session that will serve as a steppingstone for delivering long-term professional and leadership development in Kenya.
The workshop is a partnership with the Kenya Library Association, Kenya National Library Service and Goethe Institut Nairobi. The workshop will be a watershed event for KEY as it refocuses efforts on promoting rolling out rolling out of libraries for better learning outcomes for children across the country. Speaking during the event, KEY founder and CEO Rita Field-Marsham noted the importance of libraries in driving change to provide equitable access to quality education and opportunities throughout Kenya.
“Well-resourced school Libraries are necessary for the raised quality and relevance of education to satisfy basic learning needs and enrich the lives of students and their overall experience. Widespread access to library will begin the development of a collective vision of the future by youth that is more critical, curious, compassionate, and conscious of their surroundings. At the heart of libraries lies the critical role played by librarians to ensure library quality management, comfort who ensure that teachers and students use the resources effectively to close knowledge gaps and barriers to language and digital competence among children from low-income families. A critical mass number of libraries with skilled librarians will position Kenya as one of the few emerging countries who have secured privileged access to information and knowledge. It will serve as a springboard for further growth and development and set Kenyans apart in fluency and proficiency of the world’s first language. It will also bolster Kenya’s future economic prosperity by providing quality education, culture development, national pride and leadership for this and future generations.” said Ms Field Marsham.
KEY Head Librarian Nyakundi James Nyambane is hopeful that the librarians workshop initiative will set Kenya on the path to work toward bridging the disparities in availability of libraries and trained librarians across the country soon.
“There is no denying the country has a colossal task to reach the number of quality libraries that is needed to address the over 30,000 schools that do not have libraries. In the last few years, we have greatly expanded access to technology, technological support and training of teachers, librarians and students to enhance our services and teaching and learning. Our utmost goal is to provide underserved children with quality education options. It is exciting that we are making steady progress towards this goal in the lives of children we have impacted who, in turn, are discovering their dreams and reaching for their full potential,” said Mr Nyambane.
Since 2008, KEY has been executing easily adoptable and manageable models for school libraries nationwide, targeting primary and secondary schools at national and county, and community levels in a wide range of settings. So far, KEY has built 46 dynamic primary and secondary school libraries in Ghana, Tanzania and across 12 counties in Kenya. Its long-term goal is to work closely with partners and stakeholders towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on Quality Education. Kenya has an acute shortage of libraries. Libraries are non-existent in 98% of primary schools and most high schools in the country. This has created a disproportionately wide knowledge gap and barriers to language and digital competence among children from low-income families who are also disadvantaged because English is nearly always their third language and they only speak it in classrooms.
KEY is a Canadian-Kenyan registered charity. We are an award-winning development program yielding rapid rewards. We execute easily adoptable and manageable models for school libraries nationwide targeting primary and secondary schools at national, provincial, district and community levels in a wide range of settings: we have renovated existing spaces in high performing urban schools, built new structures in remote villages and even modified shipping containers in refugee camps. For more than 15 years, Knowledge Empowering Youth KEY has provided underserved children access to a well-rounded education. Our network of libraries spans 46 dynamic primary and secondary school libraries in Ghana, Tanzania and across 12 counties in Kenya. Our turnkey libraries provide children with a 21st century global context while anchoring them in their community and culture. KEY also implements a library management system, which includes a governance constitution document that promotes civic education.