Every last Saturday in Rwanda, citizens participate in Umuganda, a mandatory nationwide community service that unites people for the greater good. During Umuganda, all public transportation pauses, and bustling streets fall silent as people come together to complete various tasks, which include cleaning streets, trimming bushes, constructing homes for vulnerable community members, and more.
In 2022, eKitabu Rwanda recognized the need to engage children who are not involved in community service and started an initiative aimed at promoting literacy. The Umuganda Literacy Program is a monthly initiative that fosters a love of reading among children with and without disabilities using technology to contribute to the creation of a more equitable and informed society. By supporting community involvement and gaining a good turnout, the program is sowing the seeds of a passion for literacy in the hearts of Rwanda's youth, ensuring they become the well-informed and imaginative leaders of tomorrow.
On January 27th, the Umuganda Literacy event was held at the Gatore Youth Center Community Library located in Rwanda's Eastern Province, with over 112 children and youths with and without disabilities engaging in reading storybooks together in the Library. The library, despite its modest size, is well-equipped with a diverse collection of books spanning various genres for readers of all ages.
Mugwaneza Assumpta's gratitude for hosting the literacy Umuganda event was palpable. She remarked that the event had brought joy to the children and would encourage them to continue reading and visiting the library. Hakizamungu Adelte, the Sector Executive, also spoke about the children's enjoyment and highlighted the significance of reading and the delightful memories shared. The library's shelves, filled with alluring children's stories and intellectually stimulating adult literature, served as a gateway to imagination and knowledge.
The Umuganda Literacy Program stands as a testament to Rwanda's broader literacy and inclusivity goals. By nurturing a reading culture, the program contributes to the creation of a more equitable and informed society. The ultimate achievement lies in the growth of empowered minds and a community that recognizes the transformative power of a good book.
The Umuganda Literacy Program serves as a living testament to the belief that, together, we can sow the seeds of a love for reading that will resonate through generations. The program shapes the vibrant future of Rwanda by instilling a passion for literacy in the hearts of its youth, ensuring they become the well-informed and imaginative leaders of tomorrow.