In April 2023 at the Kabuga Yego Center Community Library in Gasabo, Kigali, Rwanda, the eKitabu Rwanda team in collaboration with the Uwezo Foundation, a Civil Society Organization dedicated to improving the livelihood of persons with disabilities in Rwanda held a Umuganda Literacy book reading session to raise awareness of the importance of emergent and early literacy among children with and without disabilities and their families.
During the book reading session, children, families, and local leaders were engaged in reading several books in the library and later had a question and answer session. The book reading session aims to bring together children and youth with and without disabilities in a reading session to encourage the development of a reading culture in the community.
“I had to bring my child to the reading even though she has multiple disabilities because I feel she does not have to be excluded whatsoever. Knowing how to read helps to know what different places and signposts mean for any service like at hospitals and road signs.” said a parent who participated in the Umuganda literacy.
The Umuganda Literacy is an eKitabu initiative held quarterly and targets children with and without disabilities at primary levels, families, librarians, youth volunteers with disabilities, and community education workers in Rwanda.
Among the participants were peer educators, who play a critical role in promoting the literacy levels of children. This is evidenced by the activities that they hold, including small reading sessions in their homes and book borrowing. Through such activities, children have learned various skills of reading.
“At the start of reading, I felt scared, but along the way, I became confident and read. Fellow children should be courageous, come to the library often, and read the available books.” Said a 12-year-old boy who participated in a reading session.
Kabuga Yego Center Community Library is one of the libraries established by the Rwanda Government to support children and youth and to engage them in various activities. It is supported by a volunteer and children come to read and borrow books. The books available in the library range from educational, novels, dictionaries, and storybooks. They also have clubs that engage them in other activities like dance and acrobatics.
The Umuganda Literacy program by eKitabu takes place in the community libraries where other programs run. eKitabu delivers accessible digital content and innovative programs for inclusive and quality education. The educational impact of learning materials is our foundation and on that proven foundation, we innovate, designing with users and collaborators from the public and private sectors to increase accessibility and lower cost for inclusive and equitable quality education for all.