Tag Archives: Agati Library

Reading activity in Uganda

Enjoying stories across the world

The books that supporters like you help to send are loved by children across the world!

Here, we’ve gathered together some of their favourite reads which they shared with us to mark World Book Day on the 5th March:

 

Reading can open up a whole new world to the reader, you can become whoever you want to be – a pirate, a spy, a princess, or an animal. By reading you can travel, explore new worlds, and go on adventures. All that is possible just by opening up a book.

– Clarissa, Street Children Empowerment Foundation, Ghana.

 

Thimpu, Bhutan

Bhutan book club

 

Keen young readers in Thimpu, Bhutan, love visiting their local READ Model Centre after school where Ms. Yangcen leads read aloud sessions. Recently, she read I Love Mum with the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 

Dandora, Nairobi, Kenya

Enjoying books at DADREG's library in Nairobi

 

In Nairobi’s Dandora slum in Kenya, the community library run by our partner DADREG is a place that children love to visit to share stories. It’s a place that keeps them busy away from the local landfill site where many of them often join their families to sift for items to sell to make ends meet:

Reading storybooks puts smiles on our faces and books make learning exciting!

Ghana

Enjoying books in Ghana

 

In Ghana, the kids at the schools and libraries supported by our partner Rainbow Trust love to read all sorts of books; here they show off just a few of them!

We love reading these books because they are colourful and packed full of fun! Some of the books, like Samson: The Mighty Flee and The Wildest Cowboy encourage the children that with perseverance, they can succeed.

Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya

The kids who read at Mathare Youth Sport Association’s (MYSA) libraries in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya, are lucky enough to have lots of staff and volunteers who read all sorts of stories with them.

Sharing stories at MYSA in Kenya

 

At MYSA’s Mathare North Library the kids recently listened to Librarian Stephen reading We Could Help:

Here in the Mathare slums, people litter everywhere so I chose ‘We Could Help’ so the children realise that they can join hands to clean their communities for a better tomorrow.

– Stephen

And Library Attendant Charles, read them The Little Dancer and Other Stories – because they love to dance!

Sharing stories at MYSA in Kenya

Most of the children I was reading the story to are in the library dancing club. So I thought the story might encourage them to continue dancing and maybe think of starting a ballet dancing club in the library.

– Charles

 

Banjul, The Gambia

Reading at Gambia National Library Service Authority

 

All sorts of children’s fiction and non-fiction books are loved by the kids who read at the Gambia National Library Service Authority’s library! They especially love story books.

 

Kpando, Ghana

Sharing stories in class in Ghana

 

The kids at Delta Preparatory School’s Library Club (which gets books from its local Ghana Library Authority branch) love sharing the The Stone Age to the Iron Age book and learning how tools and farming techniques have changed.

 

Gaza Strip and the West Bank

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, our partner Tamer Instuitue for Community Education organises all sorts of reading workshops and activities, book launches, discussions and good old read alouds!

 

Musanze, Rwanda

Reading at Agati Library in Rwanda

 

In Rwanda, the kids at Agati Library in Musanze particularly love to be read Momo and Snap, a picture book about the ups and downs of the friendship between a young monkey and a young crocodile.

Reading Momo and Snap creates a feeling of excitement, thrill and even friendship.

Gwanda, Zimbabwe

Young readers at the Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library in Zimbabwe love Funnybones so much that they request it again and again!

 

Tonkolili, Sierra Leone

Reading at Tonkolili District Library

 

In Sierra Leone, children enjoy reading all sorts of books and stories but at Tonkolili District Children’s Library, The Dinosaur Who Pooped A Lot! is a particular favourite!

 

Jamestown, Accra, Ghana

Sharing stories at Street Children Empowerment Foundation in Ghana

 

The children at Street Children Empowerment Foundation’s library in Accra, Ghana are currently reading a book called Mine:

The children love the illustrations and we chose this book because it teaches the children how important sharing is. Sharing spreads happiness – and so do books!

 

We are continuing to work with our partners as much as possible and support them wherever we can as they respond to COVID-19 and find new ways to give as many people as possible access to brand new books.

 

Boy reading

Inspiring the next generation through books

Prosper, Rigobert and Patience in Rwanda grew up with little access to books outside of school. When they graduated from high school, they saw the impact this had on some of their friends who struggled to write letters, apply for jobs and even communicate on social media.

They and three of their friends wanted to change things for the next generation and so they decided to open a children’s library – the first in their district, Musanze. They saved up enough to rent a space for the library for six months and Agati Library was born.

Here Prosper, Rigobert and Patience tell us more about the library and how it is already impacting local children in Musanze:

Patience, Rigopert and Prosper
L-R: Patience, Rigopert and Prosper

Why did you decide to open a library?

Rigobert: When we were kids we didn’t have the chance of having a place where we can get books.

Patience: And so, for some, they are finishing high school and even writing a letter is hard, it can take you like two days.

Prosper: Or they can’t apply for a job, so they have to find someone else to do it for them. I was lucky to be able to go to school but this is the case for a lot of others.

Patience: So when we left high school we made an association.

Rigobert: We were looking for things that were lacking in our community and thinking of the things we could do to help our community and we came up with the idea of making a small library for kids.

Patience: One of the co-founders had the chance of writing a book, the book became successful so when we were thinking about what we lost with not having books, we saw that it was a big loss for us not having a library in our city. So we said let’s do it!

Inside the library
Agati Library has become very popular with local children

What activities do you run in the library?

Rigobert: The first mission is to promote literacy in our community and also promote art at the same time because I am an artist and I wanted to teach the young kids how to paint to give them the opportunity to become a great artists.

Prosper: Kids come and read but we also run other activities to incentivise them to keep coming to the library so they don’t feel like reading is boring. So on the weekends some kids who are passionate about art come and Rigopert gives them some basics. And we also feel like sports is a really important thing so we ask regular readers who are interested in sport to make a team – it might be basketball, tennis, whatever.

We also have the reading sessions so that we can engage the parents at the library – they can come, read to the kids so the kids can believe reading is healthy.

But we don’t say it’s our library, it’s a community library so we encourage everyone, every parent and young person, to bring their ideas together and keep building the activities.

Last month we were very happy when some students from P6 asked “can we do a debate club at the library because these children at this other school, were saying that they are better in English than us?” And we were like “wow!”

Kids reading
Agati Library runs a number of activities to engage children in reading

What difference is the library making?

Prosper: When we started the library, many kids would come to the library and open books but not read them – they were just playing with them but now, they take one book, finish it and take another one. The more we open the library, the more they get used to the books.

Patience: Our regular users have become fluent in reading. One time we hosted a competition for primary schools and we saw the results that the kids who are the regular readers were better than the others.

Patience: At the start they would come and read only Kinyarwanda books but now they are starting to love other books in other languages like English, French and we see the impact they have because the kids can even interact in the language.

Rigobert: Our region is a touristic region – we have the Virunga Mountains, the gorillas, so it is good for the kids to know English so they can communicate with new people, so they can help them in different things.

Kids reading
Regular readers at Agati Library are excelling in reading!

Did you have any idea your library would become this popular?

Prosper: When we opened the library, we didn’t think it would get to the huge level it’s at now.

Patience: It’s become like part of our lives. As we were coming to the end [of the first six months] we were seeing a huge impact to the community – hundreds of kids were coming to the library.

Prosper: So we said “okay, even though we don’t have someone else to support the library and work together, let’s look at different things” [to keep the library open].

What do you hope for the future of your library and the community?

Prosper: We want the library to last even longer. Not two years, five years – a hundred years. So it’s the thing we want to be there forever in our home town.

Rigobert: People they think that reading is not our culture but we have to change that kind of mentality. That is why our library is focussing on kids. We thought that if we can help them love reading, they can be the great people in the future that can also help others to love reading.

Prosper: So we hope these kids who are reading now, who are loving books are the ones who when they finish high school can explain themselves in English, can write a letter, apply for a job, so we believe these kids will in the future be the great leaders.

Thanks so much to Prosper, Rigobert and Patience for sharing their inspiring story and the difference the books that our supporters help to send are making!