Having grown up in a village where school children grapple daily with an utter lack of school necessities, Florence thought of ways to help the children of her village who have enormous academic potential but often lack basic school necessities such as story books, text books, pencils and pens; coupled with a lack of conducive learning environments. Without these basic educational tools, the children end up performing very poorly at primary school and many drop out of school altogether thus feeding the existing sorry cycle of poverty.
The near-total lack of books and other reading materials deprives the children of a chance to develop the crucial reading habits necessary for student success. The situation is often compounded by low literacy levels and a lack of awareness for parents and guardians regarding the importance of parental involvement in their children’s academics. As a native of the village, Florence’s interaction with many of the children has shown that they would make very good use of books and other relevant educational resources if such resources were made available to them.
In the past Florence, her family, and friends have collected books and many other school supplies and shipped them to Ontulili and shared them with many wonderful children and their families. Children’s books have also been donated to a local school through similar efforts.
With the evident widespread critical need for resources, Florence realized that her small steps, though helpful, fell far short. And so the idea of transforming this small initiative into a grassroots project and form an organization that would support building of a community library was born. The Ontulili Literacy Project begun. We hope to make a difference sure to last a lifetime.
The overarching vision and development of OLRC (Ontulili Literacy and Resource Center) initiative is to develop and support a universal reading culture in order to break the intergenerational transmission of illiteracy and poverty within the Ontulili community.
Further, as a non-profit organization, our mission states we will provide an enabling and environment that promotes literacy and academic success.
Ontulili Location Overview
Ontulili Location (a government administrative unit) is situated on the northeastern slopes (leeward side) of Mt. Kenya in the Meru County of Kenya. Area: 84.5563 mi² (219 km²) with about half occupied by Mt. Kenya forest. 7 public primary schools, 3 public secondary schools, some private schools. Main occupation: mixed, small scale farming.