Leah hails from the Central region of Kenya, the fourth born in a family of 10. In May 2014, Leah organized a fundraiser in her hometown to start a school library. She was motivated to start it as she noticed that one of her younger brothers aged 9, could not read or communicate in English.
“One day I realized that my younger brother could not communicate in English yet he was in Class Three. That irked me and I vowed to do something to improve his education. I also knew there were many other children in our area who face the same challenge. That is when I decided to start a library to address this. But I first bought my brother a storybook.” After a short while her brother’s grammar improved and she decided to start the Colour World Green Initiative Library. She started by using some of the money that she had saved from a tree planting initiative that she had initiated a year before. She discovered that she needed additional money to buy the books she needed to stock the library. To this end, she organized a fundraiser where she was able to raise enough money to stock the library with books. Color World Green Initiative Library serves both primary and secondary school students who access the facility everyday between 9am and 5pm. On Saturdays, the library is opened between 10am and 4pm while on Sundays it is open for two hours between 2pm and 4pm.
Leah has appointed a committee of 12 community members who manage the library while she is in school. Leah also served as the chair of the Akili Dada club at the Kenya High School. She aspires to be a leader in her community so that she can address the issues that plague her community. Leah was accepted into the Akili Dada scholarship program when she was in her second year of study at the age of 15. She was at the brink of dropping out of school because her parents who were casual laborers could not afford her school fees. The scholarship program covered her tuition and all other related expenses in school. She was also privileged to receive mentorship and life skills in the Akili Dada club, which she chaired at her time at the Kenya High School. As an Akili Dada scholar, Leah initiated a tree planting project in her community that saw her plant approximately 1500 trees in 3 primary schools. She later began the community library.
Leah is currently a Gap-year intern at Akili Dada where she together with other girls in the program, she receives mentorship and life skills from different mentors. She works as a part-time teacher at Kawangware Primary School and just returned from a month long internship experience in New Delhi, India where she worked for Areev.internship at Areev and Happy Creative.
Read a feature on her community library project by Lillian Kaivilu.