Rose Wanjiru, a 50-year-old widow and mother of six, has made a significant impact on her community through her journey with the KNLS in Nakuru County. Her determination to improve her son’s education led her to the library in 2006, and since then, she has not only transformed her son’s life but also the lives of other children in her neighborhood.
Rose, originally from Nyeri County, had limited resources after finishing secondary school in 1984. Despite her parents’ inability to afford her college or polytechnic education, Rose ventured into the business of selling second-hand clothes, known as “mutumba,” in Nakuru. She also got married in 1991, but her husband passed away after only six years, leaving her to raise their children on her own.
In 2006, Rose’s youngest son, who was in class 4 at Lanet Primary School, was struggling with his studies and being mistreated by his teacher. Determined to help her son, Rose remembered that she had once visited the KNLS Nyeri library in her days in school. With the help of a friend, she located the KNLS Nakuru library and she enrolled her son as a member. From 2006 to 2010, Rose and her son regularly visited the library, and his academic performance improved significantly. He scored 340 marks in his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams and joined Bauuni Secondary School in 2011. He continued to utilize the library since he was a day scholar and eventually scored a B+ in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in 2014. He is now in his second year pursuing Mechanical Engineering at Kenya Technical University.
Rose’s commitment to the library did not stop with her own children. She also registered her neighbors’ children at the library and even paid for their book loans with her own money. The children, Jonathan Githinji, Sarah Kamau, Esther Wachira, and Kelvin K. Wachira, regularly visit Rose’s home to pick storybooks and textbooks that she gets for them from the library. These have made a significant impact on their academic performance, and Rose regularly checks in with their teachers to monitor their progress. She is proud to see the positive changes in these children’s lives and is grateful for the opportunity to help them, just as she has been helped by the library.
Rose’s dedication to her community has not gone unnoticed. Her selflessness and determination to improve the lives of children through access to education and resources have earned her recognition and respect in her neighbourhood. She is an inspiration to others and serves as an example of how libraries can transform lives beyond just being a repository of books.
When asked about her motivation, Rose credits her faith in God and her belief in the power of education. She encourages others to take advantage of the resources and opportunities available at the library, as it can be a stepping stone towards a brighter future. Her story is a testament about the impact that libraries can have on individuals and communities, and Rose continues to be a beacon of hope for those seeking knowledge and empowerment.
Her unwavering commitment to the library and her community serves as an inspiration to us all, showing that with determination and access to information resources, lives can be transformed for the better.