The Tei wa Syana Community Library Project in Kikule, Kenya

The children in Kikule, Kenya need a community library. Students in this isolated Eastern Kenyan village, desperately hope to graduate from primary and secondary school. But they face many challenges. Their families cannot afford books to study from, and can not provide places to do homework in the evenings when it is dark. Florence Mutua and Natalie Carter joined the Kikule community in building the library which opened in August 2011.

The library provides

  • access to books and tutors
  • a location to do homework in the evening
  • a scholarship program that enables destitute children to attend secondary school or learn trade skills at polytechnic school
  • clean drinking water collected through rainwater harvesting
  • the possibility of attending college or university

Our goal is to advance education through charitable means by improving student performance on mandatory national exams and increasing enrolment in two local schools, while supporting a culture of reading and revision in the community of Kikule.

Who we are

Registered Charity # 84603 8685 RR0001

Founders: Florence Mutua and Natalie Carter

Florence (left) and Natalie

Natalie Carter and Florence Mutua met in 2010 when Natalie was in Kenya working on a project. Together they decided to help the community by building a community library and construction started in June 2011.

Florence Mutua- Co-founder and Kenyan Agent

Florence is a veterinarian and researcher living in Nairobi. She was born and raised in Kikule. She is proud to be part of the TWS team. She is enjoying working with the community which, in 1997, raised money to enable her to pay for her first semester at the University of Nairobi. This initiative is a way of saying "thank you" to the community for their support.

Natalie Carter- Cofounder and President

Contact: Presentations

Natalie is an Inuit knowledge researcher and postdoctoral fellow at uOttawa. Natalie's first trip to Kenya in 2010 inspired her to find ways to encourage, enable, and support Kenyans to improve their livelihoods. She is honoured to work with the Kikule community and the many Canadians involved with TWS.

Fran Carter – Contact: High School Sponsorship

Fran is retired from both the education and healthcare fields. She visited Natalie and Florence in Kenya and immediately understood their projects and the needs that they would meet. Fran is known in Kikule as "Mama Natalie."

Kelsye Coulter - Advisory Committee Member

Kelsye earned her PhD from McGill University (Microbiology/Immunology) and is self-employed at Gallus Immunotech, a small biotech company she co-founded with her husband Paul Hennekens. An admirer from afar of Tei Wa Syana for a number of years, Kelsye is looking forward to contribute what she's learned over her years as a small business person and mother of 2 daughters to a worthwhile charity.

Melanie Sommerer Treasurer

Andy Carter (webmaster) is proud to be a part of his sister's great work in Africa. Andy is a self-professed computer geek who enjoys building websites. For his day job, he is a Senior Area Manager with Loblaw Digital.
What we do
We provide students with books and a place to study in order to advance education by improving student performance on mandatory national exams while supporting a culture of reading and studying in the community. The library is just 20 x 25 feet, and made of local bricks and lumber. Solar-powered lights enable students to study at night.

We find sponsors for secondary and vocational school students. Their resource-poor-subsistence-farming parents can't afford the $190 needed for tuition each year so Canadian sponsors enable them to go to school. There were 25 students sponsored in 2012 and again in 2013 and we hope to sponsor more every year.

Miss Wayua Mutua is our TWS librarian. She manages the daily operations of the library, and ensures the library services are widely used by the community. She also answers school-related questions when students need a little extra help with their homework.

We provide fresh, filtered water to drink at the library. A 4,000 litre tank holds rainwater harvested from the library roof, and two ceramic water filters ensure students have clean, fresh drinking water. Most local water sources dry up during the dry seasons leaving no option but to drink contaminated water from the nearby lake.

What you can do
Make a financial donation

Donations by cheque can be made payable to Tei wa Syana Community Initiative. Please mail to 500 Fordell Avenue, Kanata, ON, K2W 0B3 or you can send an email money transfer to or use your credit card through our PayPal Account by clicking this button:

Please note we are a registered charity. Tax receipts will be provided.

Sponsor a high school student

In Kenya it costs just $200 per year to go to high school and $475 to go to a technical training institute to learn a trade. To learn more about this visit our sponsorship page or send us an email at

Click here to learn more about sponsorship.

Host a presentation

Our co-founder Natalie would be pleased to tell your group the story of Tei wa Syana. If interested please contact her at

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