Prosper Nsabimana can now write his own story fluently. He recently wrote an emotional story about a young lady named Carine, a victim of child labor despite the presence of her siblings who barely assisted her.

The 12-year-old writer said he would not have been able to experience such advances in literacy without the help of the organizers of literacy awareness drive . He believes that this step will help improve his performance at school.

Nsabimana’s story ends with the relief of Carine’s friend Grace who, disclosed information to her parents, who then stepped in to rescue Carine from the situation.

Thanks to Umuhuza organization and its partners who organised a literacy awareness drive early February as part of National literacy month despite the hike of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The drive attracted both children and parents to read and write. Children were inspired to write their own stories under the assistance of Umuhuza volunteers.

Providence Dusabe, a mother of five who lives in Kinama cell in Ruhango district, was touched by a story developed by her young daughter. The story narrates a naughty child who later get transformed and change her behaviors towards her acquaintances and parents.

When parents become writers. The drive attracted both children and parents to read and write

Dusabe attributed this to the visit paid by Umuhuza Volunteers who came to her home to discuss about literacy at home.

“Umuhuza volunteers came to visit me. They encouraged me to assist my children to read and help them write their own stories. Thus, I noted it and took an action. Later, they started reading,” she said.

She added that the move has boosted the reading culture among the children and shaped their thinking capacities as well as keeping them busy and productive amidst Covid 19 when all schools were shut down.

To inspire her children, Dusabe has also developed her own story detailing how all children should receive “Equal Rights.”

She explained that in the story she talked about young twins where one was favored than another. In her conclusion, she shows that all children deserve equal right regardless their physical or mental difficulties. 

Dusabe applauded Umuhuza for the support to sensibilize community about literacy, adding that she believes children acquired more knowledge that will shape their minds even when they are at school.

Literacy awareness campaign was conducted in order to sensitize parents and children to embrace the culture of reading.

Engaging volunteers

Umuhuza organization trains a number of volunteers who help implement its activities in the community.

In the implementation of the USAID funded Mureke Dusome Project through Andika/Soma Rwanda, volunteers helped hundreds of children and parents to read books and write their own stories.

Most stories were about various topics such as Gender equality in Education, Inclusive Education, Hygiene Promotion, and Environmental protection among others.

A 26-year-old Ingabire Christine is a mother of two and one of community Volunteers who were trained to assist children and parent to read and write. She pledged to give her best to accomplish her duties.

Ingabire lives in Nyamagana village in Ruhango district.

To assist parents and children, volunteers schedule a time to meet.

According to Ingabire, their work was interrupted by the pandemic, however; when the lockdown was eased they started distributing books in the community.

“During this program, we assisted children to read books and write their own stories. We usually reach out to them at their respective homes, giving them books and encouraged them to read them together with their parents,” Ingabire added.

Umuhuza provides assistance to both children and parents to embrace reading culture. The organization also reach out to patents through reading awareness workshops and awareness events in community works.

Vincent Kanani who is in charge of Education in Mwendo Sector hailed Umuhuza efforts to foster the culture of reading and writing.

“Knowledge and Wisdom are hidden in books, if children are assisted to read, it helps increase their knowledge and wisdom,” he said.  

According to Jeanne d’Arc Umutesi, a Community Engagement Officer at Umuhuza organization, a total of 120 volunteers are in place to support children and parents from 60 villages of Mwendo and Kinazi sectors in Ruhango district.

“Through the program, parents are expected to inculcate the culture of reading and writing while they do the same as well. This will change the mindset when it comes to the culture of reading and writing,” she said.

Umutesi noted that the campaign, which ended along with the National Literacy Month, focused on the children’s brain growth, growth of Child’s emotions, daily activities to help the children read among others.

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