Young writers receive government backing

Schoolgoing youth have been urged to write books that tell human interest stories basing on the day-to-day life.

The call was made last week in Musanze District during the launch of “Gira Igitabo Aho Uri” literacy campaign which loosely translates to “have a book whenever you are”.

The campaign mainly targets schoolgoing children.

Speaking during the launch, Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi, the Governor of Northern Province, said publications that give various perspectives of the country are good for Rwanda.

“The young generation should write real life stories of Rwandans, the human interest issues we are facing today such as hygiene, development, sexual reproductive health and malnutrition among other issues,” he said.

“If the young people start writing today, it will certainly improve their knowledge and the next generation will be ready to fight these issues related to human security, it’s kind of early civic education for real life in their adulthood,” he added.

He said that the government is willing to support young people interested in writing as a way of promoting the talent.

“We even have to look for the support and mobilise partners in this area to make sure that these children who are trying to show their talent can be supported to publish their works.” he said.

Faustine Uwiduhaye, a 9-year-old from Musanze District, has authored ‘Fifi-Umukobwa Ugira Amakenga’, which teaches girls on their sexuality and reproductive health.

She said her next publications will highlight some government policies which she hears about often from parents and school.

“My next book will be based on Girinka programme.  I will be specifically advising Rwandans to not misuse cattle that government distributes to the poorest to help them improve their loves,” she said.

According to Irénée Ndayambaje, the Director General of Rwanda Education Board (REB), the Ministry of Education supports any form of initiative that helps nurture the reading and writing culture among schoolgoing children.

“We have to mobilise children to embrace a reading and writing culture as there is no better source of knowledge than books, writing remains the backbone and the bridge to sustainable development and the wellbeing of our communities,” Ndayambaje said

During the launch of ‘Gira Igitabo Aho Uri’ campaign in the Northern Province, 500 books were freely distributed in commuter buses by Arise Education, a social business enterprise which sells books for children and adults.

Arise Education management said they looked forward to distributing a million free books on commuter buses by September this year.

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