April, 2014
Kiwimbi Global
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 Head Librarian at the Kiwimbi Library


The Kiwimbi Library & Community Center is more active than ever before partly due to the hard work and passion that Duncan Omakada has brought as the Head Librarian. 


Duncan led the process of creating the LENDING LIBRARY ROOM which is a separate part of the Kiwimbi Community Center, and also worked closely with our manager Ms. Catherine Malala in organizing the actual book-borrowing process.

Duncan and his team have succeeded in encouraging hundreds of children and adults to borrow books, to care for those books, and to return them to the library.

The book-borrowing experience has been a very happy one over the last four months: more than 3,000 books lent out and returned with fewer than ten books damaged, and zero lost. This has proved the cynics wrong; the more cynical members of the community tried to discourage Kiwimbi from developing a lending library because they were sure that borrowers would damage or lose books. It turns out that humans instinctively protect objects that they have learnt to value.

Duncan and his team are delighted to report that the book-lending experience continues to be very positive as Kiwimbi continues to push for the development of a reading culture in this rural community of over 20,000 people in Western Kenya.


Duncan was born and raised in Amagoro, and returned to Amagoro after college to spread his love of books to hundreds of people weekly.


Somo ~ lesson

Masomo ~ lessons

Mwalimu ~ teacher

Mwanafunzi ~ student

News from Kenya
Kenya is renowned for the abilities of its runners.  This year has been particularly significant as Kenyan marathoners have broken records.  

For instance, Rita Jeptoo won the Boston Marathon for the third time this year, with a course record of 2:18:57.  That was just a week after Kenyans won both the men's and the women's running of the London Marathon, with Wilson Kipsang setting a record there of 2:04:29.


Kiwimbi Global is comprised currently of two entities:  Kiwimbi International, a US organization registered as a charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and Kiwimbi Kenya, a Community Based Organization established in the Teso North District in Kenya.  Ultimately, our goal is to replicate best practices from Kiwimbi Kenya elsewhere, creating more organizations under the Kiwimbi Global umbrella.


We see a world where all people are empowered through education to enrich their lives and reach their fullest potential. 


To achieve our vision, our mission is to create regional community centers internationally.  


These centers will:


provide education, training and other learning opportunities; 


facilitate cooperation and coordination among other resource organizations; and 


provide access to innovation and technology.  


The combination of these efforts is intended to maximize self-sufficiency and self-actualization for individuals and communities to prosper.

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 The Kiwimbi Library in Amagoro has lots to celebrate this month! 


As Executive Director, Prof. Olubayi Olubayi said, speaking of our April 16th event:


Yesterday Kiwimbi had the biggest event since its founding: many government officials, many principals of schools, CNN, etc. for the launch of Worldreaders, and we now have electricity!   


In other words, the people came out to celebrate the first e-readers accessible to the general public anywhere in the vicinity! Kiwimbi Library now hosts 25 such e-readers, pre-loaded with Kenyan curriculum books as well as general reading material, totaling 200 volumes on each device.   


Below are photos of some highlights of the day:


Kiwimbi has focused from the beginning on collaboration and coordination. The benefits of this approach are demonstrable in this accomplishment.  Not only have local officials supported the creation of the Library with the contribution of a building for our use, but the combined efforts of:

  • Worldreader (which provided the e-readers, preloaded with curriculum and general reading books
  • the US Embassy in Nairobi which supported the project 
  • The Elewana Education Project, which coordinated and sponsored the purchase of these valuable devices, and
  • Kiwimbi, which built a safe storage space for the devises and manages their use 6 days a week 

have led to this huge step forward for a rural community which has only had access to a public library for just over a year. The excitement generated was palpable, adults and children alike welcomed this step forward with technology.


Adding the e-readers to our Library was just the first step - we are committed as well to teaching students and teachers alike how to use the devices so that they will continue to serve the community for years to come.


This day also helped spur on the introduction of electricity to the library, which in turn clears the way for the introduction of WiFi and computer access. 


One can imagine the excitement when we found out that CNN was there for our big day.  We eagerly await their coverage; in the meantime, you can read other news coverage here:


E-readers Launched in Teso North


The Power of People
Kiwimbi could not be as effective as it is if it were not for the power of people.  In the last year and a half, we have introduced you to several people who have made significant contributions to our success.  Of course there is our founding inspiration, Prof. Olubayi Olubayi who brings his passion for education and service to the organization.  

There is also Ms. Catherine Wanjohi Malalah who serves as General Manager and who was instrumental in organizing the e-reader celebration this month.

Mr. Evans Okwenye runs our Grade 8 program and is ably assisted by Ms. Charity Mwangi who is leading the overall reading and book-borrowing program - teaching English and encouraging reading on a daily basis. We also pay small stipends to Teacher Assistants and Library Assistants as well as to others such as our school lunch program caterer, Ms. Bitron Emily Shikunzi.

What you may not know is that we have a thriving Volunteer contingent as well!  The community has embraced Kiwimbi and its mission and is daily committing to its success.  In the month of March alone, Kiwimbi Kenya logged no fewer than 1650 volunteer hours!



Jeffersonian Dinners 
Trustees are beginning to reach out to friends and acquaintances to connect and to foment discussion about our passions of education and philanthropy.  
The dinners are inspired by none other than Thomas Jefferson who sought out leading thinkers of the day to join him in stimulating conversation and educational discussion.
Kiwimbi Service Trip to Amagoro 

Plans for Kiwimbi International's first service trip to Kenya are well underway.  We are thrilled to boast, in addition to our general volunteers, specialists in Special Education, video production and art.  This means that August will bring teacher training in methodologies that we take for granted in America, a camp introducing dedicated young students to the language of art and their own creative capacity, and the dedication of all of us to assist members of this community in improving their lives. 


We have room to accommodate just a few more people. If you are interested in joining us, please email  [email protected].  


Kiwimbi International is a public charity under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  We welcome contributions, which are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.    

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For more information about Kiwimbi or details about other ways to help, please contact us at [email protected]