Help Us Build a Library at Mogonjet Secondary School in Bomet County, Kenya

Library campaign unfinished bldg Mogonjet May 2016

The unfinished library as it stands, a shelter to a few cows…while the children wait.

Buy a Book, Build a Library!

Our goal . . . build and stock a library at Mogonjet Secondary School in Bomet County, Kenya.

Here are 3 ways you can give:

1) Donate $125 or more and receive STORIES FROM KENYA: LIFT THE LID IN PROSE. This is LTL’s first coffee table book, in full-color, highlighting essays, poems, and photos from our students. It’s beautiful!


Any amount will help and 100% of your donation will go to the library. (Processing fees are covered by a private donation.)  We are a federal 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

2) Purchase my novel I ALWAYS CRY AT WEDDINGS on Amazon ($13.99) and my profits will go toward the library. Order from Amazon Smile and they’ll give a little, too. If you already have a copy, think of your friends and the Holidays!

3) Send high school-aged appropriate books to Kericho, Kenya (near Bomet County) and fill the new bookshelves at Mogonjet Secondary School! (Email for details.)

A little background on our Library Project: In 2013, Mogonjet Secondary School in Bomet County, Kenya received a local government grant of KES 900,000 ($8,700) to build a library that would serve the school and local community. The amount was enough to build a roof and beams, but not enough for the floor, walls, windows, shelves, desks, tables and chairs. More funding was promised, but to no avail, until at last the school was advised that they would not receive the balance to complete the project.


Book LTL in Prose Kenya Nov 2017

Mogonjet’s administration, teachers, and students were shocked to receive the bad news, as they had been anticipating a library for years. We are proposing to complete the construction of the library, including shelves, books, tables and chairs.

Help us give over three thousand children and adults the opportunity to become great readers and to discover the world through books!

Lift the Lid makes a donation of books every year to the schools we support. This photo is from our recent delivery to Namelok Junior Academy in Kenya.

Writing Comp 4th trio Namelok Oct 2017
Writing Comp 7th Annual Tnk You LTL Mogonjet Oct 2017

Smiles after our October delivery to Mogonjet Secondary School. Many thanks to Darien Book Aid for helping us ship to Kenya!

The Issues

Mogonjet’s dropout rate is about 10%. This is attributed mainly to a lack of school fees, early marriage, and poor motivation. The number of students who qualified to attend university this year is three out of 39 form four (senior) candidates – about 8%. The average wage from manual work for those who complete high school is KES 8,500 ($82) per month. The rest rely on casual employment/labor, of which there is a shortage. The unemployment rate is over 80%.

With an average of seven children per household, insufficient school fees is an issue, as is malnutrition and illness. The latest grades from Mogonjet show a drop from previous years. We attribute this to high absenteeism, the consequences of living in poverty. It is a cruel cycle, which only education and gainful employment can correct.

Current library at Mogonjet is in a shed May 2016

Current library at Mogonjet is in a shed.

The Library Project – A Solution

Attendance at Mogonjet stands at 143 students, with close to a 50% gender distribution. There are no other nearby libraries of the type we are proposing at Mogonjet – that is, a library designed to serve both the school and the community. The closest library to the school is three miles away but is privately run for the students and staff of another school. The estimated number of people who would benefit from the library is 3400.

Student academic performance will improve with access to information and with the boost to morale. Students, parents, siblings, and community members will have a quiet place to study, read, and meet for lectures. The library will create jobs and provide income to the school by offering lectures and training on technology, literacy, nutrition, sustainable farming, and child-rearing. By increasing the level of education and decreasing unemployment, we believe a library could, over time, bring an end to the poverty in Bomet County.

Leonard Mutai 6th Comp 2nd Pl Mogonjet May 2016

Lift the Lid awarding Leonard for placing in Mogonjet’s 6th Annual Writing Competition.

About Lift the Lid

Since we started in 2010, LTL has raised over $120,000, 100% of which funds scholarships and projects such as building classrooms, a library and a science lab, buying uniforms and shoes, implementing and sustaining a lunch program, providing learning tablets and menstrual cups, starting a band with free music lessons, and funding a summer school program.

Along with our annual writing competitions, we make yearly book donations in an ongoing effort to build/expand the libraries of the schools we support. Finally, since we began, the students have written hundreds of essays and poems, and we’ve published 165 of them, which adds up to a lot of reflection, expression, and believing in oneself!

Zipporah You Are poem Rita Hanitchak Lenana Jan 2014

To our students . . . you are OUR INSPIRATION and MOTIVATION!!

Our involvement is long-term

Lift the Lid sponsors three schools in rural Kenya, an orphanage in Nkoaranga, Tanzania, and a center for children living on the streets in metro Manila, the Philippines. Our involvement with the schools is long-term, so we see firsthand how the students are progressing with their writing, how they are defining and refining their unique voices, and how their confidence and self-awareness is evolving beyond the constraints of living in poverty.

Please help us give these intelligent, hardworking children the chance to better understand our world through books, so that they can contribute their own talents and ideas. Together we can set them on a new and brighter path. Please, act now. They’re ready and eager to read, write, and learn!


DBA 4th Writing Comp Thank You Lenana May 2016