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RWANDA: Community library sharpens students’ mind in Ngororero district

About a year ago, a public library was opened in Kabaya sector of Ngororero district.

It is a library that was built under USAID-MUREKE DUSOME PROJECT implemented by Save the Children Rwanda in partnership with other stakeholders including Kigali Public Library (KPL).

Since its opening, residents of Kabaya sector say it has been a solution to their community as it especially helps students to acquire additional skills to what they see them in schools.

More to that, children are no longer wasting their time when they come from school, as explains Tureme Deo, the coordinator of the youth center which is also in charge of the management of the library.

“The coming of this library was a solution to our community as it was something new we had received here in our sector, and I would say that it came as a special answer to the children and students, as before they used to come from school with homework, but found them wasting their time by doing useless things instead of going to revise what they have learned.”

“But since the library opened, things have changed, because the children who used to wander in the streets, now they are the ones who come here to read books and they really love it. This library has been a great help to children in gaining a variety of knowledge, as well as in gaining confidence to stand and read any story in public” says Tureme Deo.

Children in Kabaya sector are benefiting from the library

In celebration of the month dedicated to reading, when the Save the Children representatives visited the library on October 14, 2021, to review the achievements of public libraries, they were commended by Kabaya residents for this outstanding work they have done to this sector.

These residents have also highlighted out some of the issues they see as a challenge to the functioning of this library, including the fact that the house in which it operates is small enough to cause overcrowding, which can result in children being infected with various diseases.

They also pointed out that the library operates for a few days in a week, as it only operates twice a week due to the fact that there are no permanent staff at the library.

MUSAFIRI Patrick / SAVE THE CHILDREN RWANDA

Responding to these inquiries, Musafiri Patrick, the senior education specialist at Save the Children Rwanda, said that the support for the library has not been completed, especially as all these activities are being done in collaboration with local authorities, which is why they will continue to discuss it so as to have those challenges tackled.

He said: “In fact Save The Children works with the district and sector authorities, so we are continuing to discuss this to find a wide space for children to read books.”

“We will also discuss the issue of a permanent employee of the library, in order to find a way to remunerate him, but as he is not yet available, we would also ask parents to participate and volunteer in this by setting a replacement schedule among themselves, while the district is trying to find a way to pay a permanent employee”

TUYISHIME Françoise / KPL

Among other issues that were presented include the fact that the books in the library are accessible to children of all ages mainly to those who are in P1. But the Tuyishime Françoise from Kigali Public Library promised them that a solution would be found in the near future and so that there would be books for children with regard to their age.

“It’s a very serious issue and we really have seen it too. So, with regard to age, we will work with the book publishers so that when the book is published, they will indicate the age group for which the book is intended” Says Tuyishime

At the very beginning of Kabaya Library, it had only 600 books, but today after one year the number of books has increased to 1600 including those that are used by people with disability. So far, about 71 libraries have been constructed by Save the Children in different parts of Rwanda and more projects and initiatives are to be done all in order to improve the welfare and development of children.

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