This post is also available in: العربية

The founders of Kenya’s Book Bunk, the body that is spearheading the restoration of Nairobi’s public libraries, have accepted the #UbuntuLoveChallenge, the movement founded by International Publishers Association vice president Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi and Thought Leader, Mamadou Kwidjim Toure, founder of the Africa 2.0 Foundation.

Ubuntu is a sub-Saharan and South African term loosely translated as ‘humanity’.  “I am because we are” is the core philosophy of Ubuntu.  The Ubuntu Love Challenge website explains: ‘This concept, originating from African ancestral knowledge, celebrates our human interconnectedness, and reminds us of our shared destinies. Ubuntu is a calling within each of us to finally accept our Interdependence, to live with a collective state of mind, and to act from a place of care and oneness towards our human family. We are One!’

In a joint statement, writer Wanjiru Koinange and publisher Angela Wachuka, thanked Sheikha Bodour for the challenge and pledged their support for this ‘global movement built on the core philosophy of Ubuntu (human interconnectedness) with a mission to restore hope through a worldwide display of human collaboration and appreciation’.

The government of Kenya recently announced that schools are going to remain closed until the end of the year.  Koingange and Wachuka wanted to do something to help and so contacted friends and partners to raise funds and resources.  In particular they thank the support from retailer Text Book Centre, ICT specialists Isons Group and the educationalist and principal at global philanthropic investment firm Imaginable Futures Teresa Mbagaya.

They put together resource packs for children and families which they distributed in Nairobi’s Kaloleni district.  “We distributed around 200 packs and hope to do a second round in August targeting those homes we couldn’t reach with this first round.  Then we’ll have a third round in Makadara in September.”  They have also created a wish list of items still needed, among them masks, sanitisers and latex gloves, as well as stationery, coloured pencils and activity books.   They are also also asking people how they say ‘Welcome to the Library’ in their native language.  “We are translating this phrase into as many of Kenya’s languages as we can, so people can feel at home at the Kaloleni Library wherever they are from! These translations will be displayed at the library.”