Michael Kitimet stands beside the library he helped build

Cultivating success through access to education

Richmond student Michael Kitimet is building a library in his Kenyan hometown — ensuring students have access to books and shaping their futures through learning.

Education in Kiserian, Kenya, faces a number of challenges, including inadequate funding and a lack of qualified teachers. Textbooks are scarce and mostly out of date. The closest library is a 30-minute drive away. Kitimet has seen firsthand how these realities diminish student outcomes, leaving many in his hometown unprepared to go on beyond high school. And he’s stepping in to address it.

Kitimet applied for and received a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant, which he’s using to build the first-ever library in his hometown. Already with more than 700 books and the collection still expanding, the new library is helping educate and support 600 elementary and middle school students.

Workers build a library in Kiserian, Kenya
The early stages of construction on a library conceived by University of Richmond student Michael Kitimet in his hometown of Kiserian, Kenya.

Kitimet understands that, while he was able to navigate the educational system with some guidance and good fortune, most students in Kiserian don’t have the same opportunities. Through the new library, he is helping to build an academic foundation that will enable more students to achieve their own ambitions — and inspiring generations of lifelong learners to come.


Michael Kitimet is majoring in mathematics with a minor in economics. In his time at the University of Richmond, he’s been named a Bonner Scholar and an Oliver Hill Scholar.

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