From the vision of building the MCFT Memorial Library to the completion has taken one year and three seperate trips to Kenya with volunteers. We are very proud to announce the library opened to the community of Ileret in September 2010.
Please scroll down the page to read about our trips and view photos of our progress from start to finish!
Through the huge generosity of Michael's friends and family a fundraising effort in July of 2009 enabled the Memorial Library project to transition from a vision to a reality. Liza and Amy were in Kenya for the month of August to purchase and transport the building materials from Marsabit to Ileret. A 10 tonne truck was hired to cart timber, five tonnes of cement, water drums, roofing iron and tools.
In Ileret Liza and Amy worked with key figures in the community to put a team together who would work on the library site. As a team they organized and collated the building materials (the building is made of stone), worked with the head fundi (stone mason) and project leaders marking out and preparing the site and ensuring they had all the necessary components for the building to progress for when they returned to Kenya.
THE LIBRARY IS OPEN!
We are thrilled to announce that the MCFT Memorial Library has been finished and opened to the community of Ileret.
In September seven volunteers from New Zealand and the USA headed to Kenya to finish the construction of the building, install shelving, tables, chairs and stock the library with books. The books were bought in Nairobi and are a mixture of Swahili and English. We had been given a list of text books from the Ileret Primary School headmaster and the rest are made up of general interest reading.
The library is staffed with a full time librarian, an assistant librarian and three wardens who read to the children and assist with their studies. The overall running of the library consists of a three person committee.
The opening ceremony was truly a momentous occasion celebrated by us all. Most of the 16 elders who advise the chief were present, along with many of the adults from the community and nearly all the school children. Singing, dancing, heartfelt speeches and finally Faye Cronhelm, Michael's mother, cutting the ribbon to officially open the library.
The library is a busy area of learning. Already we have received a request from the people of Ileret - for more books, an outdoor restroom, fencing around the compound and a shaded area over the veranda to accommodate more students as the library is in such high demand.
This truly has been an incredible project and the library is such an asset to the Ileret community. We will continue to make improvements and expand on the range of books.
To all of you who have donated and supported the MCFT project - we thank you.
LIBRARY - FEBRUARY 2010
A group of seven volunteers from New Zealand and the USA headed to Kenya in February to work on the library.
Liza spent 10 days in Ileret prior to the rest of the group arriving working on the building site with the Ileret team. The floor was laid in concrete and the stone walls completed to shoulder height.
Due to the harsh environmental conditions, isolation and availability of vehicles and tools the work involved with building any structure of this type is labour intensive and time consuming as everything has to be done by hand. There is no running water or electricity in the community of Ileret. A simple load of gravel to mix into the concrete is in the form of small pebbles hand-gathered from across the escarpment; water for the concrete is bucketed from the lake into 20 litre containers and carted five kilometers to the site and concrete is mixed by hand.
With the arrival of the New Zealand/US team the building progressed rapidly to the stage where the roof is now on and the windows are in. Time constraints and the early onset of the rains meant another trip has been scheduled for September 2010 to complete the building, install the shelving, stock the library with books and open the doors to the children and community of Ileret.
LETTERS FROM THE CHILDREN AND PARENTS - JULY 2013 VISIT.
Michael Cronhelm Foundation Trust
PO Box 391
Amy and Liza Cronhelm
+64 27 6677 544 NZ
VISIT THE WILD JEWELS WEBSITE
Major supporters of the Michael Cronhelm Foundation Trust
ANNOUNCEMENTS - NEW UPDATES:
LETTERS FROM THE CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS - JULY 2013.
POSTED ON THE 'NEWSLETTER' PAGE.