Nearly 280 children participated in first Literacy Umuganda session in Burera District

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Nearly 280 children aged 3 to 16 attended the first Literacy Umuganda in Burera District on 30th July 2016.

The event, which encourages children to read during Umuganda while adults engage in community service, is an initiative piloted by Save the Children and Umuhuza as part of its USAID-funded Mureke Dusome project. To support literacy umuganda, the project has provided mini-community libraries which include a collection of Kinyarwanda children’s storybooks developed by Rwandan publishers.  Community members are also supplied with a simple guide on how to conduct literacy umuganda to ensure that all children are reading, learning and benefiting from the morning.

During Literacy Umuganda, children are given space and time to read Kinyarwanda storybooks. Community volunteers serve as facilitators and organize children in read aloud sessions, to promote reading as a fun activity for enjoyment. These activities build reading habits in children which ultimately result in better reading skills and improved academic performance.

“It’s a productive activity for children. We have just started it off so we expect a few challenges along the way. But the literacy guide has been helpful, as it outlines everything we need to do to make this event a success,” said Yvove Uwamahoro, one of the community volunteers that facilitated the first reading session during the Literacy Umuganda in Gitare 1.

So far, the initiative has been piloted in various sectors across Gicumbi, Kigali and now Burera District. In collaboration with local authorities, the project plans to expand the initiative new areas in the upcoming years.

Mureke Dusome (which means ‘Let’s Read!’ in Kinyarwanda) is a 4-year USAID-funded project that aims to foster partnerships between schools and the broader community in a bid to improve literacy outcomes for children in primary grades 1-3.  The project is being implemented by Save the Children and its partner organization, Umuhuza, in all 30 districts of the country from January 2016 to January 2020. It also aims to foster strong partnerships between schools, parents and communities to create a supportive environment for children to read.