Reading has the potential to inspire, to empower and contribute to a better quality of life. We partner with Education Information Services International (EISERVI), an NGO based in Cameroon to support libraries in schools, prisons, universities and orphanages across the country and bring that potential to children and adults across Cameroon. Here, Andrew from EISERVI shares the story of one girl, Rahmatu, whose life has been transformed by having access to books:
Rahmatu is 13 years old and lives in Aduk, a small village in the Boyo Division of the North West region of Cameroon. Rahmatu’s family are part of the minority Mbororo tribe, traditionally nomadic cattle grazers who have now settled in Cameroon. In a culture where school isn’t considered a necessity and where the early marriage of girls is common practice, Rahmatu, a bright and ambitious girl, has struggled against the odds to stay in school. Only one in five girls makes it to secondary school in Cameroon.
As a young child she never held a book. Her primary school had just a handful of worn out textbooks and her family couldn’t afford to buy any. They still can’t.
But now at Aduk Secondary School, she has access to a school library stocked with books donated by Book Aid International. Every day she takes a book home and reads to her siblings, something her parents could never do for her.
Rahmatu desperately hopes to become a lawyer one day to inspire her community and defend the rights of fellow Mbororo girls to an education.
Thanks to the books provided by Book Aid International, the quality of teaching and exam results in schools has improved tremendously here in Cameroon. This is particularly true in the Boyo Division where Rahmatu lives. Books simply did not exist in many of these schools until we began working with teachers to establish a functioning library. Now, the children are thriving. Every time I meet someone like Rahmatu whose life has been changed by what we do, I feel so proud.
Watch a short film about Rahmatu here.