By Elias Hakizimana.
At least 214 children are catching up on reading and writing skills thanks to Rwinkwavu community library and learning center after they reached upper level of primary and secondary schools without the skills.
Rwinkwavu Community Library and Learning Center (RCLLC), located in an underserved rural area in Eastern Rwanda was built in 2012 by Ready for Reading Organization .
The organization partners with Litworld which is certified New York not-for-profit organization founded in 2007 to empower children to author lives of independence, hope and joy.
LitWorld partners with different organizations to run LitCamps in 10 countries internationally, including Cameroon, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kenya, Nepal, Philippines, Uganda, and Rwanda.
It is founded on programs and campaigns that build self-confidence, promote leadership, and strengthen children and their communities
According to Jean Marie Habimana, the Director of Operations and partnership for Ready for Reading, and regional coordinator for Litworld programs, it is of opportunity, hope and healing where Ready for Reading seeks to empower all ages of the Rwinkwavu community through literacy, technology and life skills, enhancing academic, social, cultural and economic opportunities for both personal and community growth.
Both Organizations are partnering to run LitClubs in Rwanda. LitClub is an in-depth literacy and empowerment program designed to run outside of school time.
All 214 children were gathered last week for three days in LitCamp that is normally last for one to two-week intensive literacy and enrichment program designed to combat reading loss that happens when children are not engaged in reading during pivotal out-of-school time.
They were from both LitClubs sites in Rwanda (Kayonza Youth Friendly Center and Rwinkwavu Community Library) and were gathered for 3 days to read, learn and share their LitCamp experiences to finally be agents of change and hope in their communities.
Children described LitClub as “a place that taught them how to read, write, listening attentively and that it was a place where they cultivated happiness, joy, peace, respect and love for one another.
Emerithe Musanabera said that when she was in P3 she could neither write nor read properly due to gaps in literacy. However, she said: “After reaching the library center where I come after school and holiday, my reading and writing skills have been improved. I can also read and write English.” she said.
“These are students with difficulties in reading and writing who were found and selected from schools and we brought them for a help,” said Jean Marie Habimana.
Such gaps in literacy among children are especially due to some illiterate parents who cannot coach them besides the teacher and high number of students whom the teacher fails to manage.
“We also teach illiterate adults, all who gain more skills in literacy, computer literacy, English skills, internet access, and early childhood development services among others” Habimana said.
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