Authors, illustrators and publishers meet children in Gicumbi and Burera Districts in reading and sharing session

Wednesday 27 July 2016

To boost the supply and demand of quality Kinyarwanda children's books in schools, Save the Children's Mureke Dusome project organized a visit for the publishing sector to Gicumbi and Burera districts on Friday, 22nd July. The event was attended by over 41 participants including publishers, authors, illustrators and designers of Kinyarwanda children’s books in the Rwanda Children’s Book Forum.

The visitors read stories to children, and asked them about their favorite storybooks as well as stories they would love to read. The Rwanda Children’s Book Forum is working to foster a reading culture among school-aged children and their parents through professionalization of the local Rwandan book sector. The visit enabled them to learn more about stories children like to read so they can cater to them accordingly.

Children named “Alise ahura n’ingagi”, Bobo n’igare”, “Fora Ndi Nde” and “Ubucuti bw’inzovu n’imbeba” as some of their favorite book titles. Meanwhile, parents asked for more affordable storybooks so that they are financially able to provide children with enough books to read. They also asked publishers to print more books with hardcovers as paperbacks tear easily.

13-year-old Joseline Twishime, a primary 3 pupil at Tumba Primary School, was excited about the visit as she was able to meet different authors of her favorite books. She had previously thought the books were imported, but was excited to learn that the books were written and illustrated in Rwanda by Rwandans. So far, Joseline has read three Kinyarwanda storybooks and her favorite title is ‘Fora Ndi Nde’, a book written by Fiston Mudacumura.

“When I complete my studies, I want to be a teacher,” she said. “I want to learn how to write so that by then, I can teach many other people to write more books for children.”

Jean Marie Vianney Nduwayezu, Director of Tumba Primary School, said it was nice for children to meet the people that write or illustrate the books they read, and learn that the books are actually produced in Rwanda especially for them. Many children often assume books are written by foreigners in developed countries and donated to schools, so this was a good learning experience for them.