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Meet the Founder

Hi, I’m Chris and the founder of The Polkadot Library, Kenya.  From 2011 to 2013, I lived in a beautiful little town in the Kerio Valley of Kenya called Kabarnet. As a Peace Corps volunteer here, the people of the Kalenjin Tribe quickly welcomed me as their friend, neighbor, and family. This was my home.

Children make up almost half of the city’s population. But even with 20 schools, Kabarnet has only one public library. It isn’t free, the books are worn and outdated, and older students are given priority, leaving the youngest children with second rate options. The story of Kabarnet isn’t just about a lack of resources, though. It’s about the limited potential that stunts the community from the bottom up and lasts for generations. We can help change that. How? A library. And not just any library—but a community space with  stacks of books, computers, meeting areas, and a thriving garden. All this in and around a 40-foot shipping container covered in purple paint and hundreds of bright, pink polka dots.

I started planning the library in 2013 and it is now a reality and working toward sustainability.  The garden serves as an eco-learning project, teaching nutrition, crop rotation, and more. The donations for garden crops are invested back into the library’s staffing and maintenance. Soon computer classes will be offered at a nominal fee to students to bring them in touch with the technology they need for their future.

The classes in Eco-Gardening, Science, Art and Geography have already begun and serve over 350 students per day!!!  And it is all free.  Generous donations have brought us this far but we still have a long way to go.

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