Monday, July 13, 2009

Kenyan Cyberlibraries Project, 2007-2011


This project idea was initiated by Mr. George Jakoyo, Lessos Educational Centre, Kenya, East Africa, and Mrs. Georgia Phillips, Wollongong, NSW, Australia, retired teacher librarian, via their mutual membership in the International Association of School Librarianship. Three way discussions from June to October 2007 included Mr. Josh Reid, founder of Computer Bank Illawarra, a not for profit, non government, volunteer based computer refurbishing organization. Mr. Reid agreed to support the project by providing refurbished computers.

Mr. Jakoyo's aim is to set up a training centre in his home town of Eldoret, Rift Valley Province, Kenya. The purpose of this centre would be

o To create awareness about the potential of ICT to enhance learning and teaching and as well as aid in information dissemination and retrieval.

o To train teachers, students and other community members on the use of the internet in information sharing.

o To make ICT services available to the youth, job seekers, teen mothers, old people, farmers and small scale entrepreneurs.

o To connect members of the community to the global village.

This facility would be established in the Lessos Educational Centre, with students from Moi University as volunteer instructors. Mr. Jakoyo would coordinate the project, with the tentative support of Dr. Tirong Tanui, Chief Librarian Moi University, Eldoret., Mr John Tonui, Head ICT and Maths Deapartment , Ol’lessos Technical Training Institute, and Mr Patrick Birgen, Director Image Books Ltd.

Mr. Jakoyo has obtained official governmental approval for this project, which is registered with the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Cultural and Social Services. Costs for setting up this training facility will be covered by contributions of participating institutions, as government funds are not available to support this project. Advice and assistance in the implementation of the project has been available from the Kenyan Department of Education, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA), Kenya Primary School Heads Association (KEPSHA), Moi University and the Department of Social Services and Youth Affairs.

Since March 2008, with the assistance of Mr. Ralf Ladenthin of Alexandria, Sydney, 70 Pentium III computers reconditioned by CBI volunteers have been packed by volunteers and transported to an Alexandria warehouse. The computers now have Linux open source operating systems with freely available open source software, so no ongoing costs are required here. The 70 monitors are older CRT types, with 1024x768 resolution. 70 older ball type mice, keyboards and cables are included. Also included in one box of used library books. The goods will move in a 20' container, be consigned to Mr. Jakoyo and unpacked asap by Mr. Jakoyo and not stored at the port. Then they will be transported to Eldoret by school bus.

An ongoing concern has been port, demurrage, storage, unloading and customs and duties fees in Mombassa. Shipping line charges, agency fees, documentation fees and handling could total approximately $US600. The sea freight shipping costs to Mombassa from Sydney will probably be donated by Schenker Australia, if they can be assured that they will not have to pick up any costs in Mombassa.

We still have not had an indication of customs, though believe these goods would be duties free and Vat nil.

Mr. Jakoyo and his project team will not be able to handle the above costs.

Any support which might be available for this project would be greatly appreciated. Contact George Jakoyo: gojakoyo at


Feb 2011

The computers have been sent to Mombassa and half of them have now reached Eldoret. Half are still being stored in a government college in Mombassa.

The machines have been tested and are working. A teacher has been recruited. The lab is yet to be set up.

Mr. Jakoyo is jubilant!! We wish him well with his project!