HOUSTON, TX - At the Port of Houston, you`re probably used to seeing shipping containers being loaded onto a barge and sent around the world. But pretty soon, you`ll be seeing a much prettier box getting loaded, headed all the way to Africa. It’s heading to a little town in Kenya called Kabarnet.
It`s a library! A bright purple and pink polka dot library! It’s the brainchild of Christyne Nasbe, a former Peace Corps volunteer that lived alongside the Kalenjin tribe from 2011 to 2013. “One of the things that I was very touched by is that there are 20 schools in this town and only one library,” Nasbe shared with NewsFix.
A library seems so common for us here in the states, but in a poverty-stricken area like Kabarnet, it`s a huge deal!
"There are no books, most of the students are passing around the teacher`s book,” says Nasbe.
You`ve seen shipping containers that folks convert into homes, right? Well, CampCo a company right here in Texas does that, and they`ve helped Christyne with the initial design. Describing what they’ll look like inside Christyne says, "There will be books all the way around, all the sides of the container. At either end there will be drop leaf tables, where they`ll be able to sit on benches.”
The kids can`t wait! Jennifer Grimm worked with Christyne in the Peace Corps and still lives in Kenya. She`s been organizing things there locally.
Speaking with NewsFix all the way from Kenya (not an easy task), Grimm described the reaction the news brought out of the students there. “They applauded, they pounded their feet on the floor, you could feel this joy just totally filling the room,” she said.
In addition to giving kids a safe place to study, it`s also self-sustainable. The Polkadot Library is headed to an acre of land, which will also be used for gardening. Part of the project will be a store, where the products from the garden will be sold to fund library maintenance.
But that doesn`t mean the whole thing pays for itself. The Polkadot Library still needs donations. Their Indiegogo site kicks off on November 1. To find out how you can donate there, or even send books and gardening tools to Kabarnet, go to their Facebook page and learn how for some donations, one of those polkadots might just have your name on it!