Isaro Foundation has donated an estimated 16,000 books to schools over the last two years to boost reading culture in the country.
And, to give a hand to the Foundation, Books for Africa and Books for International Goodwill have stepped in with a donation of two containers of books that are valued at $500,000 (about Rwf335 million).
The first container is a donation of 22,000 books from Books For Africa, a grant from the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation.
Rachel Brady, the project manager of Books For Africa, said: “We are excited to extend this offer of books to Isaro Foundation, and thank you for your continued partnership towards providing access to quality books for students in Rwanda.”
Books For Africa remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping more than 28 million books to 49 countries since 1988. In 2012, they shipped 2.2 million books valued at $28.3 million to 22 African countries, with an additional 616 computers and 15 law libraries.
The second container of 20,000 books is a donation from Books for International Goodwill (Big). Based in Maryland, US, Big has sent more than six million books to developing countries in the last 15 years.
“Isaro Foundation accepted both offers with glamorous enthusiasm. These books will be valuable assets in our education programmes,” Thierry Y. Tuyishimire, the spokesperson of Isaro Foundation, said.
Books2Rwanda, which is a department within Isaro Foundation, will handle the distribution of the books to schools.
Alleluya Iradukunda, the director of Books2Rwanda, said; “Isaro Foundation has moved from one stage to another; these donations take us further in our campaign of improving reading and writing skills in Rwanda. My team is finalising strategic plans on how these books will be distributed to schools. Applications will be open soon. The first container arrives in Rwanda in October.”
“We don’t want to get distracted by people’s praise; such big donations come with a lot of responsibilities. Our goal is to see Rwandans read. We are not there yet, but we are on the right track. Like President Obama told young African leaders at the University of Johannesburg during his last visit to Africa, ‘no job is more important than educating our young people,” Iragena said.
Schools can get in touch with Isaro Foundation regarding which kinds of books they are interested in.
Isaro Foundation was founded at Millsaps College in 2011.