The name Red Rose brings to mind a blossom, a burst of color, a fragrant symbol of beauty and life. And the little Red Rose School is all of the above. It represents love, tender fragility, opportunity and most importantly, hope. To find a bright red rose amidst the dusty, ramshackle streets of Kibera, the sprawling slums of Nairobi, is truly a reward. The happy children at this school beam with pride, they marvel at the gift of learning. They take nothing for granted and are incredibly thankful for the little that that have. Wearing their bright red uniforms, the girls and boys at this small school, made out of scraps of metal and tin, are all roses and I felt honored to surround myself in their warmth during my stay in Kibera.
Our trip to Red Rose School was multi-purposed. I was fortunate to travel to Kenya with the amazing New York -based npo, LitWorld (www.litworld.org) – an organization that works with different communities around the world to promote global literacy. We worked with LitWorld’s empowering Girls Club, we popped into classes and taught children, we shared new books with children and teachers, we also shared ideas, laughter and smiles, too. A special LitWorld initiative was to set up the Red Rose School’s first library. Shelves were made by local craftsman in Kibera, children helped us sort through new books. They helped us label them and organize each and every single one of them. With lots of help, we were able to achieve the incredible task of setting up the little library in just two little days. These photos are small symbols of the treasure that the library represents to this glorious community of children and educators.
“We want the library to be nice and to have many storybooks so that many people may read them and understand English. For me, I want to read the storybooks so that I can reach for my dreams. My dream is to become a journalist and my dream is very great and it must come true. If we have a library with many books, we will always be happy and achieve our dreams.” – Emelda, age 12
Children perusing new books, while helping us group them into sets and label them.
The sweet pleasure of a good read.
Proudly standing in front of her new library.