Lighting up young minds
Daniel is a student in a small school in Kanyera Village in Malawi. Before his school received Book Aid International books and solar lights provided by SolarAid, he found studying at home difficult. Now, he is able to read at night with the support of his grandma.
My name is Daniel James. I come from Kanyera Village in Malawi, I am 13 years old and I live with my grandparents. My grandfather is a health worker.
My favourite subject is social studies. It teaches me more about what happens in society.
When I finish school I want to be a teacher! In order to pass my subjects, I study very hard. In the future, education will help me to find a job and be independent.
When we borrow a book and a solar light we are allowed to study at home.
When I hear the word “library” it reminds me that we should be borrowing books and solar lights from our library so that we can use them. When we borrow a book and a solar light we are allowed to study at home. Sometimes students want to study here (at school), but many of us like to study at home. At home, my grandma helps me.
Access to books and solar lights has helped me to read. Before these books came I lacked books to read because the school had very few. But now we have a chance to read.
In the past, before the coming of solar lights, we were using torches which are sold in groceries. Sometimes we ran out of light because the batteries were finished and sometimes we lacked enough money to buy battery cells and we stayed the whole night without studying.
During Covid-19 holiday we were borrowing books from the school. Sometimes teachers went around lending solar lights and books to the community. If these books and solar lights were not here anymore, I would be very worried because they help us a lot.
If anyone would want to bring more books to our school, I wish that they should bring more English books. I need more English books because I want to know the meaning of words.
I encourage all people to read books.
The book I like most is “Katakwe.” I like the book because there are a lot of bad things which the character does. From that, I draw lessons that if I do such a thing, I will receive such a punishment. And I know what to do to stay out of trouble!
Books are important because they educate and inform us. Books also teach us how to behave at home and in the community. So I encourage all people to read books.
All images © Book Aid International/ SolarAid/ Chris Gagnon. With thanks to SolarAid for their work in partnership with us for the Solar Libraries programme. So far, we’ve set up Solar Libraries at 37 primary schools in Malawi. At each school, we work with SolarAid to provide 400 brand-new books, 50 solar lamps and funding to buy more locally published books. To find out more, click here.
Ahmed runs the National Library in Somaliland. He’s seen how increasing access to libraries has empowered communities and improved literacy rates.
Generation reader will reach 10 million young people across Africa by 2030. In this blog, our Chief Executive reflects on the campaign, and what it means to young people.
Virginia grew up without children’s books but became an author – and she believes in the power of books.