Books a lux­ury for Nakuru kids

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

Re­gional edi­tor DENISE CAHILL is in Kenya with Nakuru Hope founder Su­san Saleeba. EV­ERY night at 7.30pm is story time for 38 orphans at Gabriel Learn­ing Cen­tre in the Kaptem­bwa slums of Nakuru.

The young­sters are on the edges of their beds to hear the story read by ei­ther their house carer or a vis­it­ing vol­un­teer.

Books are a lux­ury for these orphans and the other 259 chil­dren at the school, which was of­fi­cially opened two years ago.

But next month, they will have a li­brary of their own.

Su­san Saleeba, who founded Nakuru Hope, the char­ity be­hind the school, 10 years ago, raised the $16,000 for the new li­brary by start­ing an op shop in Fre­man­tle at the Wool­stores in July last year.

Ms Saleeba, of South Fre­man­tle, said the new li­brary would have car­pet pieces, cush­ions and bean­bags rather than ta­bles and chairs. She said the aim was to cre­ate a re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment.

“We want it to be an en­tirely dif­fer­ent world for them so they can grab a book and es­cape, use their imag­i­na­tion,” she said.

"We want to take them away from the squalor and des­ti­tu­tion of the slums. It may seem like a lux­ury but ev­ery child de­serves es­capism; they don't have com­puter games over here.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.naku­ruhope.org.

Gabriel Learn­ing Cen­tre chil­dren en­joy­ing a book to­gether.

Traf­fic weigh­ing more than 15 tonnes has been pre­vented from us­ing the bridge.

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