Involving fathers in their children’s education is a game changer, improving gender equality in the classroom and beyond.
A group of parents hovers over young children during a reading session at a primary school in Gafumba, a village in the hills of northern Rwanda. The school motto reads: “A complete education for a complete person.”
Most parents in this rural community are unable to read or write, and at the school, involvement of parents — both mothers and fathers — in their children’s education is new.
Parents in Rugarama sector, inspired by how their children were improving their reading, wanted to get involved and make more materials to further support their children’s literacy.
The solution they came up with was that on Thursdays, they sit and manually craft materials that would be used by the Gafumba reading club.
Positive impact the reading club activity at Gafumba Primary school Burera district was having to improve children reading skills, is what some of the parent say have prompted them into action.
Ready for Reading (RfR) is a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) located in the Eastern Province, Kayonza District, Rwinkwavu Sector, serving the community comprised of surrounding districts and villages, including Kabarondo, Murama, Ndego, Mwiri and Kabare sectors.
It seeks to empower communities through literacy, technology, life skills, and enhancing academic, social, cultural and economic opportunities for both personal and community growth and enrichment. The following are testimonials from beneficiaries of RfR’s interventions:
Patience Shumbusho is a children’s book author and illustrator. In 2016, he attended a National Literacy Month event in Kamonyi District. At this event, Shumbusho was announced as the winner of the Andika Rwanda competition
During the event, he was inspired by the speeches and vowed to continue writing and sharing his stories.
“After the remarks of Jerome Gasana and Mathew Roth, I realized that students can gain knowledge from my stories. This motivated me to continue writing, “says Shumbusho.
For the upcoming months, commuters riding buses in Karongi, Rusizi, Rubavu, and Nyamasheke districts in the Western Province will enjoy reading books during their journey.
On July 27, 2018, 625 books were placed on 25 buses from different transport agencies, giving passengers the opportunity to read books while they travel.
The initiative is part of the Gira Igitabo Aho Uri campaign led by Arise Education, launched in November 2017, aimed at encouraging Rwandans to read wherever they are.
As part of their work to impart a lifelong affinity for stories and poetry in Rwanda’s youngest readers, early grade reading advocates from USAID Soma Umenye and the Rwandan Education Board (REB) have been meeting with leading officials across Rwanda to discuss strategies that will increase participation in a fourth national student writing competition.
On Tuesday 6th February 2018, 1,200 Kinyarwanda children’s books were placed on 12 buses for commuters’ reading pleasure while traveling in Kigali City.
The initiative is part of the Gira Igitabo Aho Uri Campaign, launched in November 2017, aimed at encouraging everyone to read wherever they are. Gira Igitabo Aho Uri is led by Arise Education, in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and Culture, USAID Mureke Dusome project, the Ministry of Education and the City of Kigali.
Journeying from America to the heart of Africa, Penguin Random House colleagues Marysarah Quinn (Senior Vice President, Director of Creative Design, Crown) and Kendra Levin (Associate Editorial Director, Viking Books for Young Readers) were the first publisher-funded volunteers to go to Rwanda and work in partnership with Save the Children on their School-Community Partnership for Education (SCOPE) project. From January 13 to January 20, Kendra and Marysarah met with local publishers and offered first-hand insights into editorial, design and production processes.
Any platform where many people converge should be used to rally for the development of the reading culture. The Minister of Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu has said.
The minister was speaking on Sunday after the Kigali Car Free Day, a mass sport gathering that is held in the capital once every month.
Under the aegis of Rwanda Reads, Mureke Dusome in partnership with the MINISPOC and Arise Education, launched the Gira igitabo aho uri campaign on 23rd November 2017 at Kigali Convention Centre under the theme “Igitabo, isoko yo kubaka ubukungu bushingiye ku bumenyi” translated in English as “Books: the source to build knowledge-based economy”. The campaign will run for one year (November 2017 to 2018).