Tag Archives: Kenya

Mayol and Salid

Mayol’s story

Mayol, 22, fled his village in South Sudan in 2013 to escape civil war. He now lives in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, one of the largest refugee camps in the world.

Mayol attends Kakuma Secondary School where, together with a friend, he runs the school library, filled with books from Book Aid International. As a refugee, Mayol cannot attend school outside the camp or move beyond the immediate town of Kakuma so his opportunities are limited. He sees education and books as a means to change his life for the better and one day return to South Sudan. This is his story:

 

Mayol
Mayol

 

“I was born in South Sudan in 1995, but there was a war in 2005 and my father was killed. After that, I lived with my mother but in March 2013, war arrived again in our village at night. We heard the sound of the bullets buzzing around people and killing was everywhere. So I ran away and my mum ran too.

I spent two days walking in the forest alone. I met a Sudanese soldier and he said ‘Where are you going?’ and I said ‘I don’t know where I am going. I just ran and lost my mum.’ So he took me to the UN and they brought me here, to Kakuma Refugee Camp. Now I am a refugee.  Up to now, my mum doesn’t know where I am. I don’t know, maybe she was killed. She was running with the small kids – but I don’t know what happened to them.

 

A typical street in Kakuma

 

The life here in Kakuma is very hard – the camp is very overpopulated and we only receive three kilos of rations a month, but we just remain here in the camp because we have nowhere to go and we have no right to move away. We appreciate the UN agency because it has protected our lives. If it was not there, maybe we could have been killed. So because of this kindness we are here.

 

Kakuma Secondary School
Mayol (left) and Salid (right) outside their school

 

But I do not have very many opportunities unless I do my best, finish school and perform very well – that’s when you find a job and you earn your living yourself.  Here in the camp there are so many challenges that are facing us – especially on the topic of the books. One textbook is given to 10 students – and my school is comprised of 3,000 students.

 

Mayol and Salid
Salid (left) and Mayol (right) look through books outside their school library

 

Myself and my friend Salid have been selected to be in charge of the library here at our school. The library is too small for all the pupils to use the books at one time, so we give out the books and after one week we collect them and give them to another class. The books that we have in the library – they’re good but we need more! Especially revision books and commercial books so that you can make a business – and novels! There are only a few and when we give them out, they are not enough, they are so useful to have. To learn English, students need to read enough books – a lot of novels. So that when he reads novels widely, he can improve his English grammar – things will be simple.

 

Reading outside the library
Studying outside with library books

 

If we don’t have books in school it will bring challenges. Some of the books, like novels, give us the knowledge to improve our English, while others – such as the revision books – give us a guideline to understand things easily. Therefore when we don’t have such books, it brings weakness to ourselves. If we end up with a poor grade it will affect us for the rest of our lives. Wherever you go, you will not get a job because you have weak grades. You will never work in the office. When you have enough revision books and novels, you can at least try your best to utilise them so you can perform well in all your subjects.

The thing that makes me stay here and keep going is that I believe in myself. If God keeps me alive I can study well and do the best that I can to change my life. Now I have the opportunity to study for free, so I need to utilise this chance that God gave me so that I can change this life and so that when I go back to Sudan, I can bring peace. I must work hard so that I can fulfil that promise that I made to Sudan.”

We are proud to have provided many of the books that fill Mayol’s school library with the support of People’s Postcode Lottery. We thank players for their ongoing support in helping us reach people with the books they need to change their lives. 

 

Mayol and Salid

Remembering our Patron – using books to get back home

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was our Patron for 55 years. He was a great reader who believed in the power of books, so this week we are remembering him by sharing stories of people who used books to change their lives.

Mayol, 22, fled his village in South Sudan in 2013 to escape civil war. He now lives in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, one of the largest refugee camps in the world. He attends Kakuma Secondary School where, together with a friend, he runs the school library, filled with books from Book Aid International. Mayol sees education and books as a means to change his life for the better and one day return to South Sudan. This is his story:

 

Mayol
Mayol

 

“I was born in South Sudan in 1995, but there was a war in 2005 and my father was killed. After that, I lived with my mother but in March 2013, war arrived again in our village at night. We heard the sound of the bullets buzzing around people and killing was everywhere. So I ran away and my mum ran too.

I spent two days walking in the forest alone. I met a Sudanese soldier and he said ‘Where are you going?’ and I said ‘I don’t know where I am going. I just ran and lost my mum.’ So he took me to the UN and they brought me here, to Kakuma Refugee Camp. Now I am a refugee.  Up to now, my mum doesn’t know where I am. I don’t know, maybe she was killed. She was running with the small kids – but I don’t know what happened to them.

 

A typical street in Kakuma

 

The life here in Kakuma is very hard – the camp is very overpopulated and we only receive three kilos of rations a month, but we just remain here in the camp because we have nowhere to go and we have no right to move away. We appreciate the UN agency because it has protected our lives. If it was not there, maybe we could have been killed. So because of this kindness we are here.

 

Kakuma Secondary School
Mayol (left) and Salid (right) outside their school

 

But I do not have very many opportunities unless I do my best, finish school and perform very well – that’s when you find a job and you earn your living yourself.  Here in the camp there are so many challenges that are facing us – especially on the topic of the books. One textbook is given to 10 students – and my school is comprised of 3,000 students.

 

Mayol and Salid
Salid (left) and Mayol (right) look through books outside their school library

 

Myself and my friend Salid have been selected to be in charge of the library here at our school. The library is too small for all the pupils to use the books at one time, so we give out the books and after one week we collect them and give them to another class. The books that we have in the library – they’re good but we need more! Especially revision books and commercial books so that you can make a business – and novels! There are only a few and when we give them out, they are not enough, they are so useful to have. To learn English, students need to read enough books – a lot of novels. So that when he reads novels widely, he can improve his English grammar – things will be simple.

 

Reading outside the library
Studying outside with library books

 

If we don’t have books in school it will bring challenges. Some of the books, like novels, give us the knowledge to improve our English, while others – such as the revision books – give us a guideline to understand things easily. Therefore when we don’t have such books, it brings weakness to ourselves. If we end up with a poor grade it will affect us for the rest of our lives. Wherever you go, you will not get a job because you have weak grades. You will never work in the office. When you have enough revision books and novels, you can at least try your best to utilise them so you can perform well in all your subjects.

The thing that makes me stay here and keep going is that I believe in myself.

If God keeps me alive I can study well and do the best that I can to change my life. Now I have the opportunity to study for free, so I need to utilise this chance that God gave me so that I can change this life and so that when I go back to Sudan, I can bring peace. I must work hard so that I can fulfil that promise that I made to Sudan.

We are proud to have provided many of the books that fill Mayol’s school library via our partner Windle Trust Kenya. We believe that everyone should have access to books that will enrich, improve and change their lives, whatever their circumstances. 

 

Reading in Dandora community centre

A place to read during lockdown

The Dandora slum in Nairobi, Kenya, sits on the edge of one of the world’s largest landfill sites. It is home to some 141,000 people who, like the rest of Kenya, are having to largely stay at home due to lockdown measures imposed because of Covid-19.

 

For the children and young people living in Dandora, there is often little space and few resources or books at home for them to continue learning while their schools are closed.

So local NGO DADREG (Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group) which operates a centre in the middle of Dandora has opened its doors during lockdown to provide children with safe a place to read and learn using the books supporters like you help to send.

Here, DADREG’s Director, George Onyango and Catherine, a student who regularly uses the centre, tell us more:

DADREG's centre
DADGREG’s centre in the middle of Dandora is providing local children with a place to read and learn during lockdown (photo taken before Covid-19)

George

“The closure of schools and colleges has come with challenges for young girls and boys, especially those living in slums. Their homes are often not conducive for studying and they are looking for spaces to do their studies and be taught.

Also, idleness is leading to early pregnancies for girls and for boys, joining gangs. Some research has shown that since the pandemic, in Nairobi alone, over 12,000 schoolgirls have become pregnant and this worries us a lot.

This is the reason why we have opened up our centre – to allow young girls to access reading materials and do their studies.

This is the reason why we have opened up our centre – to allow young girls to access reading materials and do their studies. DADREG is providing a refuge to the girls and young boys. We are of course practising social distancing.

What we are doing is that those young men and women that DADREG has supported and continue to support in colleges and universities come to the centre to teach the children. The young men and women are acting as mentors to the primary and secondary school students and it is really helping them.”

Reading in the DADREG centre
Many children, especially girls, are coming to DADREG’s centre every day to use books, read and study

Catherine

“Since schools were closed on 16th March, I have had a lot of free time to catch up on where I was left behind. Though I have not had ample time to study at home.

But by coming to DADREG to study, I have been able to carefully manage my work schedule. I am able to conduct personal studies here as well as useful group discussions. Here I am also able to attend some online lessons which is not really possible at home.

Being able to access books and read while my school is closed has been really helpful.

Being able to access books and read while my school is closed has been really helpful. This will help me to improve my grades because I am able to cover a lot in my study areas. Reading and studying at DADREG will surely be fruitful when I get back to school.

I’ve also been reading a storybook called Once Upon a Twist. It is a great way to relax my mind after a long day of endless studying. The book has also given me the challenge to improve my creativity. It is written in a fashionably creative form making it have much suspense.

I really appreciate the books that Book Aid International has sent to us students!”

 

*Header photo taken prior to lockdown restrictions

 

Reading in school

Tuning back into school with books

Irene is the Head Teacher at Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp, one of the world’s largest camps. Nearly 20% of residents are under the age of 18.

Irene
Irene

Life is restricted for people living in Kakuma even without Covid-19 lockdown. As refugees, they cannot leave the camp and education offers the only possible hope of a brighter future outside the camp.

Life in Kakuma is especially hard for girls who are at risk of assault as they move around the camp and who are often under pressure from their families to help with chores and care for siblings rather than attend school.

Irene is determined to help the girls in her school succeed and believes books form an important part of their education, but few of her pupils have any at home.

So, she and her staff are looking at how to get books to them from the school library, which includes books you have helped to send. And in the meantime are planning how they can use books to help pupils get back up to speed when schools reopen.

Busy Kakuma street
Kakuma Refugee Camp is very crowded which makes social distancing difficult

“Our school closed on 17th March and the girls have been home since then and many don’t have books. Maybe they have one or two or three at most.

Kakuma is very crowded and social distancing is almost impossible. [Having Covid-19 in the camp] would be detrimental. That is why the Kenyan Government decided to lockdown the camp – there isn’t anybody coming in or getting out of the camp.

Learning in class
Learning in class before lockdown

Even we, the teachers are not able to get into the camp. So each teacher has a WhatsApp group for their class. We try to give the girls work, notes and assignments via WhatsApp so that they’re able to learn at home. However, not all the students have phones.

For me, books are very, very key.

For me, books are very, very key. Kakuma is far from everything and refugees have limited movement. Students at other schools up country have local libraries [outside of Covid-19] where they can go and read books. In Kakuma those things are not there. They fully depend on the books in schools. If we do not have the books then they will not get exposed to what the other students are getting exposed to. Books improve their performance.

Reading together in the library

 

They like the books from Book Aid International and they use them a lot, especially the novels. They really like the novels. Every day they ask for novels so they can improve their language. In fact, they have challenged me to get more books so they can read them. I’ve realised that’s the impact of the books because we are not forcing them to read, it’s something they want to do.

Reading science books in the library
Using books at Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls in Kakuma

Education is the only hope for the girls of getting out of the camp. I get a lot of satisfaction being able to lead a team that can help these girls to transform their lives and to get out of the camp and get careers and be able to support their families. We also take overage learners and mothers who are married, so that we can empower them to have a career.

All the conversations we’ve been having on post-Covid recovery is around books.

All the conversations we’ve been having on post-Covid recovery is around books.

Books will help us push the syllabus. We will give the students the books and they will be able to read ahead. This will help them tune back to school faster.”

Immersed in reading

Books filling young minds in lockdown

Jane is Head Teacher at Simotwo Primary School in remote, rural Kenya. Her school is currently closed because of Covid-19 and her pupils are at home.

If it weren’t for the books you have helped to send to her school, her pupils would have very little to read or to help them continue learning while they are out of school.

Here, Jane tells us more:

Jane
Jane

“[The school closing] has been a very great loss. This community is remote. The nearby town is about 15km. So the place where the children see new things is only in school – nowhere else, unless they travel.

And now the children are just at home, helping their parents who are farmers.

Farming
Many pupils are now helping their parents in the fields

When this pandemic broke we were unprepared. It was the beginning of the school year and we had planned for so many good things and the children were busy in the libraries in town.

Rumuruti library
Before lockdown, pupils were busy reading in the local library and at school

But everything stopped and we hadn’t prepared the children unlike when they go on their holidays.

So immediately when the school was closed, I gave a lot of books for the children to read at home. A great number of books are from Book Aid International.

I gave a lot of books for the children to read at home. A great number of books are from Book Aid International.

And we are still operating the school library but the children cannot come all of them together, because of the social distancing. They come bit by bit and they go home with a new book.

Taking a book home
Children can still visit the school library to choose a new book to read at home

So the good thing is that we know that there are a lot of children in homes who are reading those books. Not only the child who has picked the books, but even their brothers and sisters from other schools who are at home.

If they didn’t have a book at home, when it comes to the examination or any other assessment, you find that they don’t have the knowledge.

But one of the challenges is that because most of our parents are not educated, they are not able to assist the children properly now that they are at home. Actually, [the parents] are very much worried. They have seen the importance of the school and they rely on the teachers but the teachers are not there anymore.

Now the books are the only ones with the children. The teachers are not there, the assessments are not there, but the books are with the children at home.

And the good thing is that the children can read the books anywhere.

Sometimes you see them travelling and they each have a book in their pocket. When they go to graze the animals, they have a book. When they are eating at home, under the tree, they have a book. It is a good sign.

Children are reading the books they borrow wherever they go

This means when they come back to school, they will not be empty because they have been keeping their minds busy with the books.

When they start doing their school work, it will be nice for the children because they will know it is something they have been doing at home – having books at home now will make them be used to reading and learning.

So they will be a bit brave when they come back to school and they will not be empty.”

 

*The photos used in this blog were taken before lockdown.

Reading

Keeping pupils reading in lockdown

Charity’s children’s school is currently closed because of Covid-19 restrictions in Kenya. Continuing their education at home is difficult but thanks to the books you have helped to send to their school and its innovative head teacher, Charity’s children are able to keep reading during lockdown.

Here, Charity tells us more.

Charity and her daughter Jennifer
Charity and her daughter Jennifer

“I normally sell second-hand clothes in the market. But we are in lockdown so I am currently grounded. It is quite difficult seeing that it is my only source of income.

I have my children to feed and when the virus is over they have to go back to school. Being a single mother, education is the only thing I can give them.

So I am doing casual work in people’s farms. It goes for 250 Kenyan shillings [£1.91] per day. That is enough to cater for our daily food. It is quite difficult but we manage somehow.

I am concerned about my children’s education.

As I said, it is the only thing I can give to them. But since the government has said we should not mix with others, my children just play at home. So the fact that they are now at home it’s really eating away at me, seeing that I have nothing else to give them.

It has been over three months now and it is really affecting them.

But the Head Teacher, Mr Josphat, has been visiting homes, finding out whether the children are reading and giving out books to them.

He usually goes around with a box, where he puts those books and he leaves the pupils around 5-7 books. So at least they know how to read and write. That is the only education they have now.

Usually we don’t have books at home so the children like these books so much!

Even at night they read and when they see the head teacher around the village they shout “Give us books!”

 

Mr Josphat quote

 

Sometimes when Mr Josphat gives the books, he also gives them summaries and vocabulary work. They look for the meaning of the words. So he is keeping our children busy with books.

Books are the only source of information and when they have these books, the content is relevant to their growth, relevant to their education. These books are to the level of the learner.

I just want to say that we are really grateful. In Kenya, you see, there are many many schools – but you chose our school.

These books really saved our community.

 

*The photos used in this blog were taken before lockdown.

Reading in class

Using books to get back to learning

Lydia is the head teacher at Narok Primary School in Laikipia in rural Kenya. Her school has been closed since March due to restrictions imposed because of Covid-19.

Lydia
Lydia, Head Teacher of Narok Primary School

For many of her pupils, learning from home is impossible and they do not have books at home.

Lydia’s pupils are at risk of falling severely behind in their education and having their dreams shattered.

But all is not lost. Lydia believes the books you are helping to send will play an important part in supporting her pupils to catch up and get back to learning when her school reopens.

Below she tells us more:

Local landscape in Laikipia

 

“I have over 410 children enrolled in my school and many of them trek over 10 kilometres to get to class. We have pupils from pastoralist communities, the Samburu and Turkana people, and most are very poor.

Laikipia children
Many of Lydia’s pupils are not learning at home but helping their parents in the fields

Right now, the lockdown is a very big challenge for them because they depend on selling their animals but the markets are closed. This means that they may miss their daily bread.

Currently, our children are not learning.

Because of Covid-19, all schools have been closed.

This is a big problem because the children don’t have books at home, so they are no longer reading or learning.

Most of them are just going to work in the field with their parents and as most of our parents are illiterate, they cannot support their children’s learning at home.

Playing outside
Lydia worries that this extended period out of school will negatively impact her pupils’ future

The government has been trying to put in place methods for Kenyan children to learn through the television, laptops and smartphones.

But in our region most of our parents cannot afford books, let alone these gadgets.

And to add to that, we have very big areas with no internet or even electricity.

The teachers and I are very concerned for the children. It’s a crucial time as their minds are developing.

I know many will have forgotten what they were taught once the school reopens.

It can really affect their development and their future.

The teachers and I have already planned to burn the midnight oil when we return to school. We will have to work extra to make up for lost time.

We will add an hour to the school day so the children can read in the library because books will really help them catch up.

Books are the ideal way for these children to learn after lockdown and to learn seriously.

But we don’t have enough books. The library will need more books as we have so many children but so few books.

Sharing a textbook
Currently Lydia’s school has no books apart from curriculum books

Brand new books from Book Aid International will help the children explore the world and reach their true potential.

It costs just £2 to send the next book – and the book you send could help some of the world’s most vulnerable children get back to learning and pursue their dreams.

Please give what you can today using the link below, by calling us on 020 7733 3577 or emailing info@bookaid.org.

 

*The photos used in this blog were taken before lockdown.

An update from Kakuma

Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya is the second largest camp in the world. Like many parts of the world, it is currently in lockdown because of Covid-19. Schools have closed and none of the 149,000 people that live there can leave. No-one can enter either.

People in Kakuma do not have electricity in their homes which makes it difficult for students to tune into lessons broadcast on national radio.

However, all is not lost. The books and solar lamps that supporters like you have helped to send are enabling students to keep reading and learning.

Here, George Nandi from our partner Windle International Kenya tells us more:

Kakuma busy street
Typical scenes in Kakuma Refugee Camp, where we are providing books

How has the pandemic affected life in Kakuma?

There is a restriction of movement in and out of the camp. Due to congestion in the camp it’s hard to observe the safety guidelines so people face high risks of protracted infections of Covid-19 and there are limited protective devices such as face masks and limited hand washing stations. There is also an increased rate of gender based violence and abuse, poor mental health and a drop out of learners – especially girls due to pregnancy.

Our learners face challenges in accessing devices such as radios, smart phones and internet bundles.

How has education in particular been affected?

Schools remain closed and currently learning is going on through radio lessons where Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development’s pre-recorded content and live lessons are aired. Reading materials including print, audio and video content are also transmitted to learners through school WhatsApp trees and online education platforms. But our learners face challenges in accessing devices such as radios, smart phones and internet bundles. This period out of school might result in increased dropout rates and insufficient syllabus coverage leading to poor performance.

Vision Secondary
This period out of school could lead to increased drop out rates when schools reopen

How are you supporting learners in Kakuma now that libraries and schools are closed?

Currently teachers have minimum contact with students however the school library books are being safely issued to students by teacher-librarians and priority is given to candidates [students in the final year of secondary school] for home study. Teachers on the other hand are tasked with developing digital content to pass to learners through the available channels.

Books provided by Book Aid International and also solar lamps … are helping the students to continue to extend their study time at home.

How are the books and lamps supplied as part of our Reading for All and Solar Homework Club projects helping?

As I mentioned, the teacher librarians continue to issue out books provided by Book Aid International and also solar lamps. They are helping the students to continue to extend their study time at home.

Showing a book
Books you helped to send like this one are helping students to keep learning while schools are closed

 

There are more solar lamps and books on their way from Nairobi to Kakuma project, how will these help further?

More books and lamps will mean that more learners, especially candidates, will be able to extend their reading time at home. The outcome will be improved performance despite the restrictions caused by Covid-19.

We would like to say a special thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Intouch Global Foundation for their generous support of our project work in Kakuma.

 

* Photos used in this blog were taken before lockdown.

Secondary school student in Kakuma

Girls succeeding through books and lamps in Kakuma

Our Solar Homework Club project in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp recently won the Educational Initiatives category of London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards.

London Book Fair award

Getting a good education in Kakuma is hard. Schools are oversubscribed and vastly under-resourced. Teachers are largely students’ only source of information. In addition, without electricity at home, pupils’ time to read, revise and complete homework ends when it gets dark.

The Solar Homework Club project aims to remove some of these barriers to reading and learning by providing solar lamps and new curriculum support books and novels for secondary school students to borrow and use to support their studies after school.

The project is making a particular difference for girls in the camp. Here, female students and staff from Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls, Vision Secondary School and Somali Bantu Secondary School tell us more:

 

Kakuma friends
Three friends from Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls with big ambitions for the future

 

What are the challenges you face living in Kakuma Refugee Camp?

Yvonne, school librarian: We are not allowed to move outside the refugee camp – you have to seek permission and you should have a very good reason to go. You cannot just say ‘I want to see a new place’ – it is not acceptable since we are refugees. So we are confined in the camp.

Fortune, student: That is why education is important – it can give us the opportunity to leave the camp.

… few families are like our families … They keep their daughters at home to cook and fetch water.

Amia, student: My parents are happy that I am in school. But few families are like our families. They do not know the importance of education. They keep their daughters at home to cook and fetch water.

Martha, student: Many other girls don’t live with parents. They are the mother and father of their siblings. They cook for their brothers and sisters. Many times, they have to do assignments in the morning when they come to school.

Yvonne: We also face security issues like assault. You can’t walk around in the camp. The camp has small roads and lots of bushes where people can hide. So if you are a girl walking around at night, you can be raped.

Kakuma school library
Choosing books from Kakuma Secondary School’s library

Why do you think it is important to have books to support your studies?

Amia: Before the teacher comes to class you have to go through the book and look at the topic. When the teacher comes, you understand more. But if there are no books you cannot get the first-hand information that you want. It can lower your grade.

Yvonne: From my childhood I have seen people succeeding through education – and you get education through books.

Reading science books in the library
Referring to science books at Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls in Kakuma

How are the new books helping?

Aisha, student: The books are good for revision as they have clear pictures, e.g. biology and chemistry books.

Nyamal, student: The books have helped. I like reading the books with pictures as it helps me understand better.

Irene, school principal: Before, we never had a single novel in the school. Now, students read a lot during ‘quiet time’ time every day.

The books are good for revision as they have clear pictures.

Flyann, student: The English books help us build vocabulary … I find them very good. I want to be a student of literature.

Amia: The storybooks also have words of encouragement because most of the books talk about students who faced challenges and were successful in the end. They give us motivation!

And how are the solar lamps helping?

Student: The lamps have enabled us to expand prep time at night as well as do early morning reading. The lights also help us to have group discussion in the dormitories after preps.

Kadurenge, school principal: The solar lamps have helped reduce time walking to school and back at night for preps, giving them more time to read at home. Girls are especially grateful to be able to do homework at home every night. There is improvement in performance.

The lamps have enabled us to expand prep time at night as well as do early morning reading.

Zaki male student: Girls with lights read and perform well.

Amia: We have maximum time for revisions and so I get good grades. My parents are very happy about it and know that I will become successful.

Working hard in class at Vision Secondary School

What are your hopes for the future?

Nyaneng, student: I come to school to fulfil my dream of becoming an engineer in order to support my country.

Anisa, student: I want to change my life to a new one through education. I want to become a teacher to teach the  next generation.

Yvonne: I have read about women who have succeeded. I believe I can succeed too.

I have read about women who have succeeded. I believe I can succeed too.

Many thanks to Intouch Global Foundation for their generous support of our Solar Homework Club project.

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.