The Akili Trust was set up in January 2006 by Nicci Crowther and Mark Orchard, and achieved charitable status in May 2006. The name was chosen because ‘Akili’ means ‘brains’ or ‘intellect’ in Kiswahili. This was appropriate to the main purpose of the Trust, which is to develop libraries in rural areas of Kenya to contribute to the promotion and development of literacy.
We currently operate in the Malindi District, Kenya and have set up two libraries, one in Dabaso (2005) and the other in Kakuyuni (2007). We also support a number of other local school libraries with books and other resources.
The Trust also provides bursaries to pay for the school fees of a minimum of two secondary age students per year in each library. In 2016 there will be 26 students on the programme.
The aims of the Akili Trust are to work with local and national communities and NGOs to improve literacy and expand access to education. Specifically, we aim to:
- Build new libraries and support existing ones
- Ensure that the libraries have an adequate and suitable selections of books in both Kiswali and English
- Provide staffing, and running costs
- Initiate training, continuing professional development, and support for librarians
- Establish Library Management Committees including representatives of the school and members elected by the registered users of the libraries
- Maintain a bursary programme for secondary education
- Liaise with local schools and other relevant authority and the wider community within which the libraries are located.