The Gahini Library
In 2011, we founded Rwanda's first public library. It was founded not merely to serve the public, but also to demonstrate the possibility of something often taken for granted in more developed nations: an institution whose doors open to everyone who seeks knowledge regardless of age, education, or history.
It was strategically placed in Gahini, Rwanda, a village poised for growth. Indeed, the village has boomed with the library as an aid. The library is owned and run by the local community. With 11,000+ volumes in English, French, and Kinyarwanda, it serves thousands of students. Teachers come from throughout the region to develop their curriculum. Events and contests are regularly hosted on its grounds.
A core purpose of the library was to provide an example of what was possible, that it may be the first of many. Our library did just that. Numerous public libraries have since emerged, modeling themselves after the Gahini Library.
The library took on a life of its own and been a springboard to a number of further projects and initiatives: essay contests, art competitions, after-school programs, government programs, and the like.