Community is everything, perhaps the most important thing you can do for society is establishing a safe space where they can connect to others, boost their confidence and have free access to reading materials. The story is about to tell you is about a man! A man who doesn’t sleep, a man who lives to dream for his people, the vision bearer. This man is not expecting anything in return but the well-being of his people.
I met Elephas when SAIDE partnered with American Friends of Kenya in 2015, A man of few words. I got to know him over the years as a change enthusiast. The first time I visited Kongoni Community Library they were being hosted in the building of the county government but still, it was something. His love for change has enabled him together with partners to establish a magnificent library, one of a kind in Kongoni town.
It’s at 2:00 pm Saturday, I alight at Kongoni and the first thing to notice is the tall building with beautiful art. The construction is ongoing but I can already see the complete structure. The last time I was here the first floor was not yet complete. I stand there lost in the moment of admiration; my mouth wide open. Indeed, dreams come to pass every day, I am inspired and so proud of Elphas and his team for the accomplishment. Beautiful entrance, beautiful signage, and a beautiful garden.
As Elphas takes me around I find my spot at the restaurant. The interior design is so alive, “this will be my spot whenever I visit”, I comment. What a great idea to have a restaurant on top of the library, I think this is a very first in this region. Elphas is indeed setting the pace for all of us, he is the epitome of partnership and networking something beautiful can be born.
The computer room is busy, young people are either having zoom classes or having personal research on the laptops and desktop computers. On day two I had a chance to interact with the catering club, we were so excited to learn how to do different recipes with the guidance of their teacher. The conference room was out of this world, attractively done.
I loved each moment I spent at the library, it was great to see the Bishop officially open the library, the cooperation of the church and the library was amazing. I learned that the church has a very important role in establishing community libraries for the church is the community. I also learned building and growing a community Library is so much more about what you put in than what you get out.
It was also great to meet Elphas’ supportive family, another important lesson family builds you. I am grateful for the hospitality accorded to me. I am in love with the work you and your family are doing in that village and like I told you it takes passion to accomplish your dreams. Thank you for inspiring me and many others, thank you for thinking about the future generation, and may God bless you.
SAIDE Community Library.