(Photo courtesy of Kids Alive International)
Kenya (MNN) ― The sale of children’s books in the United States brought in revenue of $3 billion in 2010.
With such a large market for children’s books, it’s no surprise that they are very accessible.
But for kids in Kenya, books are difficult to find if you live in a rural area. Kids Alive International has five children’s homes in Kenya.
Purity Nyamu with Kids Alive says they don’t have easy access to books. “For any child to go to a library, you have to go to the big city, and that’s usually about a four-hour drive. In our five [orphan homes], we don’t have easy access to the big town.”
Currently, Kids Alive is working to meet this need by putting a small library in each of their five homes. Nyamu explains, “For them to be able to stand up by themselves in the adult world, we find it very important to give them an education.”
They feel more books will encourage that education. With the help of a mission team from a church in Indiana, Kids Alive recently finished a new library in one of their children's homes. The library was completed in one day, and the reaction from the kids was encouraging.
“Five children were reading one book at the same time,” says Nyamu. “They were extremely excited. The first week, we had trouble just getting them out of the library! [We would say,] ‘Come on, it’s time to go to sleep.’ Most of them would be like, ‘No, I don’t want to go to sleep because I’m not sure the library will be there tomorrow!’”
The children at Kids Alive’s Kenyan homes often come from backgrounds of abuse, poverty, and disease. About half of them are infected with HIV/AIDS. At Kids Alive, children get food, clothing, medical treatment, and an education.
Along with physical nourishment, the children are exposed to the love of Christ. Nyamu says, “The first thing we do as staff in Kenya is just love these children as they are and get them to understand they don’t have to work toward anything for us to love them. Now when they understand that, then we begin sharing the Gospel with them. Then they will begin to understand the love of Jesus Christ: that His love is free, that His grace is free.”
Kids Alive is asking for more mission teams interested in helping with their library ministry. They hope to have at least one more finished by the end of the year, and they want all the libraries completed by the end of 2013.
You can also help by supporting a child for just $35 a month. 120 Kenyan children still need sponsors. Click here to help.
Please pray for the children that they might come to know Christ as their Savior and grow in Him.