Tuesday, December 6, 2011


November 28th marked the end of the Microsoft Word Training Workshop at the Busia Community Library. After Mama Mtoto (Mother and Child reading program) ended, the ladies wanted to continue to gather together on a weekly basis. They informed us that they wanted to learn how to use computers.

So, with three laptops shared between 14 Mamas, one chalkboard and a few instructors, we taught them the basics! They learned how to turn on the computer, open a file, click and drag, change font, use punctuation, save a file…and all those other things that those of us who are computer literate take for granted.

They were a bit timid at first, but after a few weeks they dove right in. We kept practicing and practicing and learning and learning. They were such eager students, it knocked my socks off! I am used to teaching 2nd and 3rd graders, who, let’s just say are not always completely interested in what they are learning

We finished the class by typing up CV’s (resumes) for all the Mamas. Now they each have two copies of their work and learning experience to present to potential employers. We also presented them with certificates to show they completed our training.

The Mamas each took turns speaking about the class. They said how much they loved coming together each week and bonding as a group.

Scholastica shared that her neighbors used to think she was illiterate-- when she told them that she was going to get a certificate for a computer class, they could not believe it! Now her neighbors want to come to a computer class at the library themselves! She said that she can even tell that her husband respects her more now for her achievement.

Rose told us that she used to think that computer skills were only for the learned, but now she has computer skills, and is planning to continue developing these skills.

They all echoed the sentiment that they want to continue to grow as learners and are confident that this class will help them with their employment goals.

We had a celebration on Monday complete with speeches, pictures, music, mandazi and the presentation of certificates which all took place in the newly repainted adult section of the library.

Enjoy the photos from the class, celebration, and library make-over!


P.S. This is my last week at BCL. Sad. I'm going to the states for Christmas and then my husband and I will be moving to Kakamega (Kenya) when we return. I am sure that I will be back to Busia to check on the library and visit!

Scholastica gives her remarks on the class

Presenting Gladys with her certificate

Gladys #2 dances while she receives her certificate

Computer class (minus Esther) with certificates

(with Esther)

Gladys enjoying some reading time before the celebration

Preparing to paint the adult side

Extreme painting skills for hard-to-reach spots

Gladys, Katie and Everlyn give a thumbs up after the painting job is done

BCLS readers in action

The new view from the librarian's desk at BCLS