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Aitong Primary School Library & Learning Center
Mara School Libraries Initiative
Public schools should have the same resources as privileged private schools, but in so many places, that dream could not be further from reality. In the Maasai Mara, we develop libraries and other resources at the public schools most in need. We work closely with teachers to determine what's needed — with high standards of quality and relevance — and then purchase everything in Kenya through our partner Text Book Centre in Nairobi. We also run workshops to train teachers and students to maintain the resource and to create programs that will inspire the next generation to read, learn, and grow; and we hold follow-up assessments to gauge impact and see where the resource can be improved.
As of Summer 2023
Aitong Primary School: Library/Learning Center
Enturoto Primary School: Library/Learning Center
Talek Primary School: Library/Learning Center
Olemoncho Primary School: Latrines (accommodating disabilities)
Mara Girls Leadership School: Library, Laptops & General Support
Maasai Mara Secondary School: Library & Science Lab
We renovated a neglected building in the center of Aitong Primary's campus and converted it to a beautiful library and learning center with 2000 books, digital resources, and conservation materials for 1100 students. This is now a model for future primary school libraries.
After working with Mara Girls Leadership School for several years, in 2021 we decided to develop a library and learning center for the public school next door, Talek Primary, with 1200 students in grades 1 to 8. The library transformed this school and inspired us to do more with public schools.
It's not easy making it to high school in the Maasai Mara — and then succeeding. So much is working against young people here: lack of resources, poverty, homes without power or light, homes far away from the schools, no transportation, the basic need to help their rural families survive. Only 11% of students in Narok County enroll in secondary school, and the number is even lower for girls (CIDP Narok 2018-2022). The students at these public high schools have found a way to stay in school — often the first in their families, with some progressing to university. These motivated young people have overcome many obstacles to be here, and they deserve the opportunity to learn and grow.
Maasai Mara High School
In late 2021, we developed a library at Maasai Mara High School (see a classroom), a boys' school in Aitong with over 300 students, and we have continued to add to it since. In spring 2023, we also equipped new science labs here for experiments in biology, physics, and chemistry.
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