Children International Launches Its First Container Library in Kenya


Kansas City, MO (February 6, 2014) Children International is launching its first container library in Nairobi, Kenya, this week. The 40-foot container can house thousands of books and will give children in Nairobi the opportunity to increase their knowledge through reading. The new container library is only one part of Children International's larger Community Literacy Program.

Container libraries are compact libraries that have been converted from secondhand 40-foot containers. These large steel shipping containers, usually used to transport items via ship, rail or truck, are fitted with shelving, storage cupboards and other library furniture and equipment. The 40-foot containers provide affordable, safe and versatile shelter for several projects, such as a library, and can be relocated fairly easy if necessary.

Children International's new container library in Nairobi will serve hundreds of students from local schools. Teachers can bring their students to the library to read and borrow books. Additionally, the students will be able to visit the library in their free time and will be allowed to take books home over the weekends. Teachers from nearby schools and local youth will volunteer to work in the libraries.

Children wait in line to visit the container library. Container libraries are compact libraries that have been converted from secondhand 40-foot containers. This photo shows the container library while it was still under construction.



According to UNICEF statistics (, in Kenya only 52 percent of boys and 48 percent of girls enroll in secondary school, and only 87 percent of adults are literate. Through the Community Literacy Program, Children International promotes the love of reading, a culture of literacy and the acquisition of knowledge among children, youth and adults by providing quality textbooks, children's books and reference materials for classrooms and libraries. Children International is able to do this through their strong partnerships with communities and other organizations, both locally and nationally. Children International operates its Community Literacy Program in 18 countries worldwide and has operated the program in Kenya since 2009.

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About Children International
Children International prepares children and youth to escape the traps of poverty by supporting their critical needs, building resilience, and engaging them in transformative activities. Children International accomplishes this by providing crucial benefits and compassionate care through easily accessible, modern community centers. Children International’s presence, programs and supporters have a positive impact on children, youth, families and communities; provide protection; encourage self-sufficiency; and serve as catalysts for change.