Coronavirus stalls Stevenage charity’s library project for deprived Kenyan communities

PUBLISHED: 14:29 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:29 20 April 2020

Just Be A Child's fourth library was opened in September last year. Picture: Lenka McAlinden.

Just Be A Child's fourth library was opened in September last year. Picture: Lenka McAlinden.

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The coronavirus pandemic has stalled a charity’s project to create two libraries in deprived Kenyan communities this summer, where a lack of basic hand hygiene is also a concern.

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Just Be A Child was set up by Stevenage’s Lenka McAlinden in 2013 after a trip to Kenya, and the charity has so far turned four shipping containers into libraries.

Lenka and her team want to establish 40 libraries by 2030, with two due this summer, but she said: “Coronavirus continues to test humanity, organisations, scientists, politicians and, well, all of us. Our project is suspended awaiting developments, but the likelihood is we will need to postpone the shipment. We will keep packing books when we can, but we are 20,000 books behind. We will monitor the ban on travel.”

Referring to hand hygiene, she added: “We are worried about the poor and remote communities in Kenya because soap is a luxury many cannot afford.”


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