Parents, students and local leaders in Ruhango, Kirehe, Ngororero and Burera Districts have expressed their gratitude towards the new community libraries established by Umuhuza under Mureke Dusome Project to boost reading and writing skills.

The four libraries were established in 2020 by Umuhuza organization in partnership with Ruhango, Kirehe, Ngororero and Burera Districts, National Itorero Commission, Save the Children and Kigali Public Library and they are equipped with a variety of books of Kinyarwanda, English and French for children and adults.

Under the USAID funded Mureke Dusome project launched in 2016,Umuhuza established 2,524 reading clubs and trained 5,100 volunteers to facilitate those reading clubs while 16 volunteers trained to manage the libraries. 

Venantie Mukagatanazi is one of the volunteers trained by Umuhuza and partners running reading clubs and library management. She said that she was ready to deliver a better service.

“We meet with children twice a week to assist them. We are happy that even teachers and school authorities encourage their children to join other children here. This shows that our work is more valued,” Mukagatanazi said.

Officials speak

Valens Habarurema, the Mayor of Ruhango District hailed Umuhuza and partners for the library established in the district, which he said, is the first of its kind.

“The library adds more value in the community because reading is a foundation of the development of the country as well as the source of knowledge,” he said

The mayor described Umuhuza to be a key partner with the district in various activities geared towards promoting a better society.

“Besides Mureke Dusome project, our district and Umuhuza also work together to improve early childhood development, child protection, and better growth of children as well as gender equality,” he pointed out.

The Executive Secretary of Kirehe District, Eric Zikama said: “Children’s high-quality education is a key for the development of community and every stakeholder should maintain, protect and sustain the operations of this community library established by Umuhuza.”

According to Patrick Uwihoreye, Ngororero District Vice Mayor in Charge of Economic Development stipulated that when citizens are well-equipped, the country’s progress become more effective and rapid. “The facility adds more value to the progress of the district and we have to take care of it.”

Nepo Rugemintwaza, a commissioner at National Itorero Commission (NIC),stressed the significant role of Umuhuza in promoting volunteerism in boosting literacy skills in the community.

“Volunteerism should be inculcated among all categories of people. These volunteers have joined the battle against illiteracy and more should join to ensure that every Rwandan can be well empowered,” he noted.

 Knowledge-based economy

Sylvain Mudahinyuka, the Acting Managing Director of Kigali Public Library (KPL) commended Umuhuza for backing up the government’s journey to build an educated society characterized by a knowledge-based economy.

“The country seeks to build a knowledge-based economy and we can’t achieve that without developing the culture of reading among children,”Mudahinyuka said.

He added that the vision is to bring in more books to ensure that varieties of books are available with good governance, economy, social welfare, justice, and agriculture content among others.

 Mathilde Kayitesi, the Executive Secretary of Umuhuza believes that new community libraries will serve to accelerate the development of the country by achieving its goals such as strengthening the culture of reading and build a knowledge-based economy nation.

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