Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Tumoiyot Primary School Library Project for Peace

Project #
Colby College
  • Emmanuel Cheruiyot

Growing up in rural Kenya, Emmanuel Cheruiyot didn’t have many opportunities to read because there were few books at his primary school. When he arrived at high school he found he had trouble expressing himself in English, the primary language of instruction.

Now a student at Colby College, Emmanuel decided to give back by building a library in his hometown that will serve students from 17 local schools as well as community members. “This is one of the marginalized areas of Kenya that have been branded primitive and remote,” he says. He hopes the library will expose kids to books, help them learn languages at a younger age, and gain confidence in expressing their ideas.

He raised an additional $4,500 with an online fundraising campaign to run a literacy and environmental-awareness program in the community and to stock the library with books and educational resources. In addition, the library construction project was able to employ youths for several months, providing much-needed earnings.

The community welcomed the library, and the contractors supported the project as well. Some in the community even bought a book or two for the library. He hopes it builds a culture of reading that will benefit the entire community as the children grow.

“When children read at a tender age, they build their language and earn exposure that I lacked as a kid,” he writes. He hopes they’ll grow to be able to debate global matters confidently in both English and Swahili as they reach high school.