All hands on deck as 40ft container heads to Kenya

Volunteers have worked hard to send a shipping container full of books to Kenya, where it will be co

Volunteers have worked hard to send a shipping container full of books to Kenya, where it will be converted into a library for deprived children. - Credit: Archant

A shipping container filled with 12,000 books has set sail for Kenya, where it will be turned into a library for a deprived community.

Volunteers have worked hard to send a shipping container full of books to Kenya, where it will be co

Volunteers have worked hard to send a shipping container full of books to Kenya, where it will be converted into a library for deprived children. - Credit: Archant

It was all hands on deck as volunteers worked to load a 40ft container in Stevenage for Just Be A Child – a charity set up by resident Lenka McAlinden in 2013 following a trip to Kenya.

The charity aims to support children living in the country through various projects, including building playgrounds and libraries.

Just Be A Child’s first library – a converted shipping container – was established in Ukunda last year, with plans for a further nine to be created across the region.

A team of volunteers, which included members of the Rotary Club of Baldock, worked to load the latest container with 12,000 books, 1,400 uniforms, 840 toys, 2,000 pairs of reading glasses and 2,384 items of stationery.


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Lenka said: “We had two-and-a-half hours to load and we got going with speed and excitable fury.

“The container was on the top of the lorry, so it was some pretty heavy lifting. Our strength was wearing thin towards the end, but we persevered. When we finished sweat was running down our entire bodies, but we all had smiles on our faces.”

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The container is expected to arrive in Mombasa by Monday, July 18. Lenka is inviting people to join other volunteers in Kenya in July and August to help convert the container into a library. If you are interested in helping, email lenka.mcalinden@justbeachild.com.

Just Be A Child’s first library now has about 1,700 members, 250 active users each week and 14 librarians. For more about the charity’s work, visit the www.justbeachild.com website.

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