Posted by RC Gachie on Jan 31, 2022
Members of RC Gachie with DG Alex Nyaga during the painting project.
Written By Julliet Wairimu. Edited by Terry Obath
Gachie. The mention of this name is enough to conjure up feelings of fear and dread, as it is widely known to be the supposed den of dens, harboring Nairobi City’s worst armed robbers and notorious gangsters.
This claim to infamy is because at one time, a famous armed robber did indeed reside and raise his family here. His daring exploits were admired by some of the town’s youth and his loot was shared amongst them in nights of drunken pleasure, causing a few to choose the same route as a means to get rich quick.
Exterior view of the library
A Rotaractor in Action
The town still elicits awe and wonder for some but is now surrounded by upper-class developments built on former coffee farms that separated Gachie from other surrounding areas. Sitting 12km from Nairobi City, it is located in Kiambu County and named after one of its first settlers, Gachie, a son of a well-known resident, Mr. Kihara.
Despite its reputation, serious crime is no more than any other surrounding areas and as a result of rural to urban migration, the area which had a predominantly Kikuyu ethnicity now attracts a more diverse group of residents, which has led to the considerable reduction of crime, a rise in booming trade, mushrooming of urban housing developments and subsequent gentrification of the neighborhood.  
The classrooms before the project began
Sharing a name with the town, is the little-known Gachie Primary School. The largest school in the area, it provides learning and education to a majority of the town’s resident children – most of whom come from needy backgrounds.
The school, a public institution, with most of its funding coming from the government, has 1350 pupils. Its overall performance has suffered due to a poor reading culture and little follow-up from the main stakeholders. The parents here, most of whom can barely eke out a living, received little to no learning themselves as children.
Tiling ongoing
The Rotary Club of Gachie, one of the more positive products coming out of this town, has identified this need and seeks to inculcate a reading culture in schools in the greater Kiambaa area as it delivers on Rotary’s basic education and literacy area of focus. 
The school management has cooperated wonderfully, providing two unused classrooms which Rotary Club of Gachie has converted into a library and reading room. This would have been an expensive exercise had we not received great help from other well-wishers like the Giants Club who donated tiles for flooring of the library and books, Rotary Club of Lacey, Washington who provided extra books, and Basco Paints who kindly provided paint.
Rotarians and Rotaractors and their friends had a great time painting the library, ably demonstrating that we are truly People of Action who care for their community. A final update of this legacy project to follow soon.
RC Gachie members in action during the paint party to rehabilitate the library site