Direct impact our libraries have:
- 2,200 members, 500 visitors each month;
- 42 school partners around each library, up to 5,500 pupils visiting each library every month;
- Informal lessons: arts and crafts; writing and creative writing; reading and reading aloud; after-school homework clubs attracting on average 50 children at each library;
- Formation of groups: mothers and toddlers; women support group; disability support group; traditional dance groups; volleyball and other sports groups. We have 11 member traditional women dancers group, two volleyball teams, seven mother and toddler group members, and 24 disabled children support group;
- Formation of business opportunities: tool lending scheme; shoe making and repair shop; ironing services; chip shop; waste management group came out of the think tank and continuing to be profitable;
- Improved grades at schools, particularly in reading, composition and writing. Efficiency (speed) of reading and range of vocabulary also increases. 17 out of 21 schools reported higher grades at end-year exams;
- The importance of education is raised and children kept out of school are often re-enrolled (16 – 9 girls and 7 boys);
- Four adults returned to school to finish their education;
- English, which is an official language, is being improved and conversations with librarians and library users are much more comprehensive;
- Communities are introduced to the concept of volunteering and subsequently develop further activities such as cleaning up their neighbourhood or organising fun events;
- The community spirit and feel of cohesion is raised;
- Attitudes shift from the expectation that others will provide and dependency on foreign resolution to we must ensure our young succeed;
- In the UK, school children are informed of life in Kenya via lessons and exchange Skype talks;
- Also in the UK, books including text books are utilised rather than sent to landfill; and
- Other charities get to ship to their projects with the aid of JBAC.
Direct impact of playgrounds:
- It is used by 120 children each week at all three locations;
- Ensures that mothers can get on with chores while the children play in a safe environment; and
- Encourages children to play and young people to channel their energy into something other than drink.
Indirect impact of JBAC’s projects:
There are many impacts we did not anticipate. Such as: confidence in which children communicate after just few weeks; changes in communities and their outlook on life; increase in positive images of their future; greater understanding of value of money; increased respect for teachers as a profession; increased value of education; and much more comprehensive and detailed understanding of project management (from pricing to evaluating impact) and proposing solutions to problems.
We have also been instrumental in:
- Introducing playgrounds as a concept in Ukunda and subsequently seen the installations of numerous playgrounds;
- Inspiring teachers to copy, borrow and expand our ideas and directly ask for advice and help from us and our librarians;
- Creating job opportunities; and
- Enabling our volunteer librarians to start their own enterprises.