The organisation initiated a SLUM LIBRARIES PROJECT in 2002 and is now running four free community libraries namely:
Mathare North in area 4,
Mathare and one in
MYSA Head Office in achieving a great impact in the affected communities recording over 19,500 registered members using the library at different times of the week as young as 2 years from different background with an average of 80 – 100 with the highest visits being on weekends and during schools holidays shooting to over 300 visits per day.
The following were reasons for starting the Libraries in Mathare Slum and her environs
- To provide free access to books due to poor macro economic performance that has made it difficult for families to meet the rising cost of education e.g. purchase of school text as well as story books.
- To provide conducive rooms for reading and studying due to poor infrastructure in the slums e.g. crowded, small rooms and poor housing that are dark even during the day time making it difficult to read or study and even privacy.
- To establish social and recreation centres through the community libraries as our communities and schools lack these centres.
- To promote literacy through promoting and developing a reading culture among community members.
- To provide safe place for children and youth due to Lack of social security and public mechanism to support poor families and cater for children in conflict and displacement.
MYSA Community Libraries
Free to all regardless of age, gender, religion, ability, tribe and economic background, the libraries provides a second home to many children and youth who find the place safe and conducive for reading, studying, research through access to general and school text books, students discussions groups, education support ,awareness on access to e books through phones, meetings, socializing, reconciliation and building friendships.
The libraries operate from Monday to Saturday from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, and are closed on Sundays and National Holidays
The services and activities rendered include book lending to schools and individuals, library school visit program, free reading materials, fun and games, storytelling sessions, book reading competition, educations support program to students through homework, user education, basic trainings on sign language, Norwegian language, life skills education on HIV and AIDS sensitization, basic computer training lessons as well as little hands big steps program where parents are encouraged to bring their young children to the libraries and read with them as a way of encouraging them to copy what they are doing hence developing a positive attitude towards books.