The Jason Westwood Foundation Trust was founded by Aileen and Derek Westwood following the unexpected death of their son Jason who was aged just 27 when he died in 1999. Jay’s Community Library was set up in a deprived rural area of Watamu, Kenya, and housed at Gede. Land was donated by the local Secondary School in Gede to facilitate the building of the Community Library. The land was donated to the community for free and building materials were supplied at cost by a local provider. The building was constructed by a local builder, Nigel Watson. Friends From Ireland became aware of the Library building project through Melinda Rees, a friend and supporter in Watamu.
Following a full briefing on funding requirements a submission was made to the Board of Friends From Ireland and it was decided that such an initiative deserved our full support. Subsequently Friends From Ireland made substantial funds available to facilitate the building of the library. The library opened on January 30th, 2009.
This project really is a great example of what can be achieved when people work together. We were delighted that the funding forwarded by Friends From Ireland was pivotal in the early completion of this building. This Library will not only support the education of local school kids but will stock Swahili texts and publications to encourage local traditions and culture. This small library will mean so much to the community on so many levels.