NABU, a story telling platform that provides mother tongue stories for children across the globe, launched the ‘NABU’ book prize where Rwandan writers can submit their stories and stand a chance to win a $ 5000 prize.
This took place at the Kigali Convention Centre on Friday.
Amos Furaha, the Director of Global User Engagement at NABU said the aim of NABU is to solve challenges related to distribution of books, creation of mother tongue relevance and representation and boosting the culture of reading.
The event also saw a panel comprised of; Jean-Michel Habineza, founder of iDebate, Innocent Asimwe from Rwanda Information Society Authority, Joan Murungi, Head of Curriculum Development at REB, and Tanyella Evans, the Executive Director of NABU discuss the limited supply of mother tongue books.
With the theme ‘read to rise’, all panelists agreed that the limited supply of mother tongue books leaves children’s potential redundant, because they read in a language they don’t understand.
The ‘read to rise’ campaign will see the NABU team going out to the community, to read with children and make people aware of the application. The campaign aims to create more mother tongue content and to increase their readership.
The Director General of Rwanda Education Board (REB), Irénée Ndayambaje said the campaign will supplement the education system.
Sylvain Mudahinyuka, the Managing Director of Kigali Public Library said digital literacy fosters personality development and human life adjustment.
“This contributes to the spread of education, via reading and writing. Digital book exploitation, economic development, science technology, engineering, mathematics, and innovation promotion, intercultural exchange and leisure promotion are the fruits harvested in reading and writing”, he said.
Olivier Muhire, a 9-year old who attended the event said reading in a language that he understands will help him understand what is written.
The beneficiaries of NABU application are children, but the users and contributors (writers) are parents. The application already has 50 stories now that are in Kinyarwanda.