Despite the Covid 19 outbreak which led to nationwide lockdowns, children in Bugesera District benefited from a program designed to develop their literacy knowledge with the help of Umuhuza community volunteers and their parents.
In 2020 as part of a literacy month, Umuhuza in collaboration with its partners including Right to play conducted a reading campaign in Bugesera district to facilitate children and parents in the reading process.
All conducted in Compliance with the pandemic preventive measures such as social distancing and wearing masks among others.
Under the supervision of Umuhuza community volunteers, children would gather at Presbyterian Church in Rwanda.
Beneficiaries received books to encourage them to read and write their stories and best stories were awarded. All winners received school bags among other kits.
A total of 182 books and 226 stories were written.
Diane Ingabire Gasana, program manager at Umuhuza Organization, commended community volunteers for their sacrifices to promote reading culture.
She acknowledged parents and children for their commitment and courage to embrace the culture of reading and ensure learning continues even when schools have been closed for months.
“We thank everyone who makes reading drive possible. Umuhuza started the program in Bugesera district in 2020; however, the pandemic interrupted the launch of the project. Therefore, it became difficult for us to run the program as expected,”
On the other hand, we thank leaders who facilitated us to implement the program during unusual period, she noted.
She also appreciated Presbyterian church to provide venues to host activities under the program.
Over 50 years ago, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially proclaimed September 8th an International Literacy Day to mobilize a global community about the role of literacy as a key towards community and society empowerment.
Ingabire noted that parents should play a big role in encouraging children to read.
“These are the children of the country but primarily they are your children, the country has no more resources than its people. Helping children to read is very important. We need to inculcate the culture of reading and writing among the children and it is through reading that we gain knowledge,” she added.
She believes that reading and writing exercises help children to perform well at school.
Jeanne d’Arc Mukaruriza, a mother of four, thanked Umuhuza and its partners for their support.
“I thank Umuhuza for sharpening our children during the pandemic when school were closed. Its programs have increased reading and writing skills among the children,” she said.