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Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.


The Maktaba Initiative is aimed at building libraries for young people in schools in rural Kenya while incorporating mentorship and art for a period of one year in each selected school with the goal of instilling a sustainable reading culture.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every student in rural Kenya had access to libraries with all sorts of books and access to mentors that they could look up to?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is an urgent & growing need to rejuvenate the spirit of a reading culture, creativity & an artistic sense within the Kenyan child.The power of knowledge continually accrued & ideas conceived & unlocked is indispensable to realization of our national development blue-print, Vision 2030. The initiative seeks to play its role as an active agent of change that will bring forth a generation of well read, creative & solutions driven citizens.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The solution is to build libraries complete with a wide variety of books and unlimited access in rural primary schools around Kenya.These libraries will be maintained by the schools through the introduction of a library system complete with library prefects and a library teacher.This system will be monitored in the one year that the initiative will be running in the school.This will ensure that the overall goal of cultivating a reading culture is achieved. The second solution is to avail mentors to begin and sustain a mentorship program for a period of one year that will see the young people have role models who are available to provide them with any guidance they need and also to emphasise the importance of books and reading.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Maktaba Initiative first started with routine visits to needy children’s homes around Nairobi whereby there would be short sessions that incorporated storybook provision, artistic exploration and mentorship. The first primary school to be involved in the Maktaba Initiative was Karuri-ini Primary in Murang’a County. We provided storybooks and mentored the children for one year. Achievements of Maktaba in this school were that we not only managed to complete a 1 year mentorship program (partly through a sponsor and partly through our own fundraising) but we also achieved in having the students adopt the library system & the reading culture. The results of the mentorship were best seen in the girl's improved self-confidence.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Our past projects have seen various institutions including children's homes and primary schools benefit from the Maktaba Initiative. The greatest impact has been with the former class 8 pupils of Karurini Primary School,Murang'a where we held a one year mentorship program that ran from Sept. 2013 to Nov. 2014 . The pupils showed improvements such as an increased interest in books and reading that we can attribute to the book donations. The girls especially have showed great improvement in their confidence levels which we attributed to their continued interaction with our female mentors. There was also significant improvement in the mentees' academic performance at the end of the year. The projected future impact involves running the program in all the 47 counties in Kenya and it is towards this goal that we are currently working in our second county- Uasin Gishu County.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The strategy going forward is to; 1)Reach out to and create networks with the heads of the various counties that we want to have our Initiative running. The plan is to involve them in our activities so as to get them on board because through them we can influence the community to see the importance of reading and education in general. 2)Increase the marketing outreach for the football tournament so as to involve as many young sport enthusiasts and partners in the tournament that will see the football tournament thrive and become a main source of funding for Maktaba Initiative.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The Pitch a Dream Tournament was borne of the need for funds & storybooks required for the achievement of our objects in the various schools engaged in our Maktaba Initiative. In a bid to try & address this problem we semi-annually invite family & friends to pay to play a 5-aside football game. In this way we are able to collect books for the libraries as well as funds to enable us to travel and buy materials for the mentorship visits.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

A project called Start A Library is addressing the problem of lack of books. We differ from this project in the sense that our target group is children in primary schools in rural areas around Kenya. We also differ in the sense that our program seeks to provide consistent mentorship, positive artistic influence and encouraged innovation as part of the book donation package.

Founding Story

The idea came to me at a time when I was looking for a way to positively impact children in institutions in my community by providing them with storybooks. I happen to have friends who share my passion for reading and giving back to the community and once I approached them with the idea they were immediately on board. We realized there was also a need to incorporate art (i.e beading, drawing, acting, photography) into our mentorship program so as to maintain the children's interest in the program as well as to have an all rounded output. Accessing funding was a constraint that we faced and are overcoming by holding a Football Tournament that invites our families and close friends to come together and be a part of social change in a fun way.


Currently the team comprises of; 1)a board of 7 directors who make major decisions regarding the organization.The board comprises a chairperson(law student),secretary(law student) and treasurer(medical student) as well as four other directors. 2)1 full time accountant who ensures our finances are constantly updated 3)1 part time marketer who assists with the marketing of the football tournament as well as keeping our social media active.