Umuhuza hands over community libraries in Gasabo
Umuhuza, a non-governmental organisation which works to enhance the positive social-economic transformation of communities by building resilient capacities, on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 presented the achievements of the Six month-project to officials in Rutunga sector, Gasabo district.
The project, entitled ‘Access to Digital and Inclusive Community Literacy Environment,’ aimed to increase community libraries equipped with inclusive and digital literacy resources and was funded by UNESCO Rwanda Commission.
The project focused on increasing the number of community libraries and equipping them with digital resources to promote the use of ICT in literacy.
Specifically, 3 community libraries were established, 20 community literacy champions acquired knowledge on the use technology in library management and how to facilitate people with disability to access literacy materials, while 2848 Kinyarwanda story books were provided to Six libraries, and 45 reading corners were established in different homes.
Since 2018, Umuhuza has been running out different activities in Rutunga sector to promote a positive parenting and reading culture in the community by establishing community libraries, providing reading resources and empowering community literacy champions.
For instance, in 2021, Umuhuza, with Bank of Kigali sponsorship, established three community libraries in Rutunga sector and especially in 2023 under the UNESCO-funded project, the organisation established three new community libraries, adding up to 6 community libraries in the area.
During the handover meeting, Umuhuza and Rutunga sector signed a new memorandum of understanding aimed at maintaining the achievements made.
Louis Ntabana, Umuhuza Vice-Chairperson, underscored the healthy partnership between Umuhuza and Gasabo district mainly Rutunga sector, which he said allows all interventions to have a positive impact on the community.
He acknowledged the funding provided by UNESCO Rwanda Commission for the just-concluded project.
“ Community libraries are fountains of knowledge that enable citizens to participate most actively in the development of their country,” he said, calling on local leaders, teachers and parents to work together to encourage children to embrace the culture of reading.
“The project phased out, but the partnership will still flourish. We will continue to collaborate on other opportunities,” he pointed out.
Speaking on behalf of community literacy champions, Emmanuel Bikorimana said it was a privilege for Rutunga residents to have inclusive and digitalised reading facilities.
He stressed a need to mobilise community members on the importance of reading.
Philomene Mukankusi, Director of Communication, Information and Library at UNESCO Rwanda Commission, called on officials in the sector to ensure that reading facilities are used effectively for the benefit of all.
“ It’s good that books are available in different languages. This will help readers increase their knowledge of the language,” she added.
Desire Matabishi Nsabimana, the Executive Secretary of Rutunga sector, said everyone needs to read to sharpen knowledge and keep up with the latest developments in the country.
Nsabimana commended the partners for building community libraries that empower citizens, assuring them to sustain achievements.
“ He who does not read, knows neither the state of the country nor the state of the world. In fact, we need to stay informed about what’s going on. The more we read, the more informed we become and increase our knowledge. We will continue to work closely to ensure the project has a lasting impact,” he added.