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Why Kenyans Find it Hard to Give Books, Toys and… Buttons

Book Drive

Why Kenyans Find it Hard to Give Books, Toys and … Buttons

I usually get involved in things and causes that have a tendency of living a mark in my life and those around me. This year, I am running to raise funds, get story books, toys, sanitary pads, underwear and buttons for our children in Nairobi, Kitengela, Maralal, Baragoi and Iten. Yes, I will be going to Iten, very soon, to train for my remaining marathon runs.

I will be doing my third marathon on Wednesday this week and thankfully, it isn’t a 21K because I am yet to secure the right running gear. I have a huge gash on my left thigh as result of running with the wrong pair of shorts while my small toes are turning into mini-mountains from wearing the wrong pair of shoes. I have already run two fundraising marathons and still have 8 more to go. I haven’t raised much while I am yet to receive a donation of sanitary pads, books, underwear and buttons.

I used to think that it would be easier for Kenyans to contribute as little as Kshs. 100 per month to support our work. We still had three activities at the Nairobi Remand Juvenile Prison, Dagoretti Gorls Rehab, Five Star as well as other places where we visit and donate stuff to children. Right now, we are focusing on Five Star Academy, thanks to our growing partnership with students from Strathmore University and Oshwal Academy.

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Running to get funds, books, toys, sanitary pads and buttons

Though we don’t need millions to do our work, getting Kenyans to contribute as little as Kshs. 100 isn’t an easy nut to crack. Kenyans, in my experience, are very generous and ever willing to help out. There thousands of instances where Kenyans have lent a helping hand to those who desperately deserve it. Yet getting the same Kenyans to part with a shilling, a used story book, a toy and my favourite, a button is so frustratingly impossible!

A few weeks ago, a call for books and toys at The Hub caught my attention, so much, that I started dropping by on a daily basis to see how many books and toys have been collected. To my surprise, which isn’t a surprise anyway, I went to The Hub’s management office and was shocked to learn that no single book or toy has been collected, yet thousands of people throng the Hub on a daily basis.

This call for books is for a noble cause. It has come just days after I met Sasha, the special needs girl, while on my morning run. I have promised to get story books for her, and that is why this call caught my eye…

Do you have any books and toys to spare? Then we have a plan for you, The Hub Karen in partnership with Rotary Club of Karen are collecting books and toys in support of The Karen Institute for the Deaf and The Karen Police Station Community Library. Drop them off at our management office to support this great cause.  

Reasons Why Kenyans Don’t Give Books and Toys

  • Lack of awareness concerning the needs of thousands of children who lack access to books, toys, buttons and other necessities
  • Their own children do not lack and a result, it isn’t any of their concern
  • Consistent chasing of the deal that will help put bread on the table
  • Waiting for the world to change!

     

A Call to Action

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Giving 3 girls books after running my first 20K during the Shompole Wildlife Marathon on March 20th, 2016

I don’t know what reason you have for not giving books, toys and buttons. But getting books in the hands of every Kenyan child is a dream that is so close to my heart. Leave me in the midst of children and getting them to read will be the first thing that will come to my mind. Reading books has many benefits and I can personally vouch for it. While a few of the children I meet have access to books, the thousands I meet lack books, their only source of written literature is found, if they are lucky, in old Sunday Nation newspapers that is used to wrap mandazis. chapatis and omena and the nearest market centre.

We are appealing, through Lifesong Kenya and in conjunction with The Hub, Karen and Rotary Club of Kenya, for books.You can also drop the books, toys and other things you are able to donate at The Hub, Karen. I can also come and pick the books where you are. Kindly let me know when I can come and pick the books from your office. It will also make my day if I can get buttons as well. Give me a call (James 0724 411 109), I am waiting.

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