The Library Learning Center is officially OPEN! Three hundred guests gathered at the Library Learning Center for the Gala Celebration on June 23. Distinguished guests including Vice Chancellor Professor Geoffrey Muluvi of Southeastern Kenya University, Christopher Machin, Cultural Affairs Officer U.S. Embassy, Steven Kilonzo, Chief of Staff for the Deputy Governor, Cindy Dyer, US Board Chair, Benedict Nganga, Kenyan Board Chair, and Tina Thyaka, Kenya Board member. Head teachers, community members and other partners spoke too (see attached program) with Executive Directors James Musyoka and Sharon Runge sharing reflections and deep appreciation to the hundreds of donors for the project.
LitClub students from Ngangani recited poems and LitMoms performed joyful traditional dance. Following the Gala speeches, the ribbon was cut by Vice Chancellor Muluvi, Christopher Machin and James Musyoka and the doors were officially opened to the LLC! The guests toured the building and saw the beautiful murals, colorful and child-friendly library, and the Maker Space filled with sewing machines and supplies. They saw inspirational quotes including, At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better. It’s an enormous force for good.” By President Barack Obama and “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid” by Lupita Nyong’o. These quotes and others on the walls of the building are encouraging students and community members to dream big. The guests also were inspired seeing the STEPS to READING that were donated by individuals, schools and a publisher. (see the list).
People marveled at the robust library collection and one 78 year-old guest said that he would return to get his first library card!
Wendy Bakers, a baker in Nairobi who grew up in Wamunyu, made a special cake in the shape of the Library Learning Center. Board member Jackie Crispell, the Vice Chancellor and architect Jospehine Mwinyi cut the cake which was shared with everyone. A traditional lunch was served with goat, chicken, chapati and other wonderful dishes.
We are grateful to all the donors and supporters of the project. The Library Learning Center is a true gift to the community, especially the students and teachers in Wamunyu.