Books, bumps and babies
Winner of our Community Reading Award, the Toto Smart Book Club is based in the Bondeni Maternity Unit in Kenya. The club encourages mothers to read to their unborn babies to help create connections, nurture an early reading culture and increase self-esteem. We spoke to one mother who told us why she sees the value in the club.
My name is Jane. I am an expectant mother and I live near this facility, it’s not too far. I’m married and I live with my husband. I would say my personality is jovial and loving!
I have no other children, but this is not my first pregnancy. I have lost three, and this has been the first one so I am happy with his journey.
I am just a housewife, but I have my small projects that I do at home to keep me busy.
I am a lover of books. I love reading. I started when I was young and I have always loved reading a lot. It has been in me since I was a child, so I am not worried about the challenges of reading for my baby.
My dad was a teacher of English, so he inspired us to read sometimes as he knew it would help us learn languages and in class. So I grew up with that.
When a child is introduced to books at a tender age it does help them a lot, for that child to grow up knowing to read and loving the books. The child will love books and it means education won’t be so much of a challenge for the child.
For me particularly, the reading room here was introduced to us expectant mothers. For many it’s new, but reading is already in me.
But coming here to the library, well I just feel that it’s something that I love.
When I’m bored at home, I come down and take a book and read for my baby. That’s what we all do. It makes the mothers happy and it brings happiness to both the mother and the baby when you read together in the room here. It’s very good for us.
As head of the library department at Amref International University in Kenya, Dr. Penninah Musangi shares how books have shaped her life and why they are so important to the medical students studying at the university.
Aaron grew up in rural Kenya with little access to books or education. Now a qualified nurse, Aaron is using books to further his studies and meet the needs of his local community.
Jane reads to her unborn baby in a mother and baby unit in Kenya. Read why she believes it’s important for both mother and baby.