Stevenage charity opens fourth library in deprived Kenyan community

Villagers decorated the shipping container with colourful handprints. Picture: Lenka McAlinden.

Villagers decorated the shipping container with colourful handprints. Picture: Lenka McAlinden. - Credit: Archant

A charity which supports deprived communities in Kenya by providing people with the opportunity to read has opened its fourth library.

It was all hands on deck to get the library ready. Picture: Lenka McAlinden.

It was all hands on deck to get the library ready. Picture: Lenka McAlinden. - Credit: Archant

Just Be A Child was set up by Stevenage resident Lenka McAlinden in 2013 following a trip to Kenya. The charity builds playgrounds and transforms shipping containers into libraries.

Since 2015, people in Hertfordshire have donated more than 90,000 books that are being read by more than 350,000 children in Kenya.

The library was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Picture: Lenka McAlinden.

The library was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Picture: Lenka McAlinden. - Credit: Archant

The latest library has opened in Shimba Hills on the south coast of Kenya.

Lenka said: "We have conquered the mountains, braved the weather and brought another library to another new community." She is already looking to next year's project and seeking volunteers to help organise the charity's storage containers in Ashbrook near Hitchin, which Lenka says "are bursting at the seams" with donations. If you can help, call 07737 500 501 or email info@justbeachild.com.

Just Be A Child's fourth library is already proving popular. Picture: Lenka McAlinden.

Just Be A Child's fourth library is already proving popular. Picture: Lenka McAlinden. - Credit: Archant

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter