‘Nothing in the world can give an education apart from reading’
Alfred lives just outside the city of Kabarnet in Kenya. Thanks to a good education, he is now a primary school teacher in addition to being a farmer. Unlike many in his community, he has the means to ensure that his family have enough to eat. Even so, items like books are luxuries he can rarely afford. Alfred believes education has a vital role to play in overcoming food poverty. Here he explains why education and access to brand new books are so important for the next generation to flourish.
The challenge people have is providing food, especially here.
I am a teacher and also a farmer – I have a small farm to supplement. The food I grow on the farm enables me to have food for my family. My wife is a farmer too. She also sells items at the market. Her small business keeps us going.
I managed to join teacher training college. Then I went for my diploma and then I joined university for my first degree. Education enables people to acquire skills. From there, they can look for work that can enable them to provide enough food.
The main resource for education is books. The books are preparing the children, helping them move ahead.
The teacher, is the first priority, after that, we must supplement with books.
If I was told I had to buy some books for my children, I would struggle. I would be forced to sell an animal so that I can get some little money. But books are to prepare the child for future life, so I have to struggle. Books are very important.
Our Inspiring Readers programme has brought a book box library of brand new books to Alfred’s children’s school meaning providing his children with access to books will no longer be a challenge. He and other parents are already seeing their children benefit from the books:
I can say we are very happy. At my children’s school, we are seeing that the books have changed the life of the children – they have developed a reading culture. You find them reading by themselves in the classroom, so they enjoy reading.
My children, when they come home, they introduce us to the new books that they have learned in school. They tell us the stories. We really enjoy it. We feel there is something good happening at the school – and it’s because of the books they have there.
Our wish is to provide enough education for our children. We pray that we have enough resources to educate them. And the best education is provision of books. Because there is nothing in the world that can give an education apart from reading.
We would like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for funding Inspiring Readers in Kenya and giving children in Alfred’s community the chance to enjoy brand new books to enjoy in school.