Riley Orton Foundation

The Riley Orton Foundation (ROF) aims to generate positive, sustainable change in the Obunga slum and rural Kanyawegi village communities of Kisumu, Kenya by provision of a quality education to young girls and economically empowering marginalized women and youth.

The Literacy Garden aims to develop the knowledge of rural children and adolescent girls through promoting literacy, food security, environmentalism, and healthy lifestyles. This project disrupts the status quo and offers a dynamic counter to customary approaches. It is holistic and multi-faceted, blending literacy, storytelling, poetry, music, drama, sports, food production, environmentalism, and technology in a comprehensive program that nurtures marginalized children’s’ talents and leadership skills while providing a platform that encourages them to advocate for their rights.

This grant from Better World Books will enable us to nurture the talents of young readers and writers by providing students with the necessary resources, environment, and guidance they need to academically thrive.

“WOW! How wonderful to be this year’s Better World Books Literacy Grant Winner! Securing grants for projects when they are just getting off the ground is always a challenge for many grassroots organizations  like Riley Orton Foundation. We are incredibly grateful to the Better World Books family for believing in our work and connecting us with the resources we need to make the Literacy Garden a reality for hundreds of marginalized rural girls living in poverty in Kisumu, Kenya! Because of this generous award, disadvantaged rural girls will have a unique opportunity to hone their literacy skills and gain their voices to champion change in their own community in a safe space that allows them to thrive and reach their full potential. This grant is an epitome of Better World Books’ belief in the ability of grassroots organizations and local leadership to effect change in their own communities and commitment to reduce global poverty through education; a goal we both share. We are delighted to partner with you again to bring literacy education to the grassroots having worked together in 2013 when we were awarded the [Better World Books] LEAP Grant for Libraries for our Akili Library Project. Asante sana!”

David Omondi, Co-Founder, Program & Funds Development Manager