KARONGI—Young writers from secondary schools all over Rwanda say they need more developing the country’s literary culture. Over 20 creative writing students recently completed the Kivu Writers’ Workshop, where short stories, poetry and theatre was reviewed.
While the event was a positive experience, the students say even more could and must be done.
“We learned how to give life to words,” said Ghislaine Duhujinema from FAWE-Girls School. “When I see something I feel like I want to write about it.”
Duhujinema couldn’t believe it when she woke up and found that she was among the winners of the Writing competition organized every year by Kivu Writers’ Workshop, an initiative that aims at promoting youth through creative writing.
But the trainees are holders of talents that risk a dormant situation. Many of these young writers said they are still writing for them-selves and they are not motivated since their work can’t go far.
“We have many things we wrote but our messages can’t reach other people,” said one of the students in a speech on behalf of his colleagues.
Other students said they don’t apply the skills they learn when they go back to school because they have limited time for writing while others asked for more workshops to strengthen the skills they have.
“You can’t develop when you don’t read because we get plans from others,” says project coordinator Richard Kananga.
In a country where the culture of reading and writing lags behind, the coordinator of Kivu Writers’ Workshop says it requires more than only their project to make literature a true part of the country.
Close to Frw1.5 million is spent on each workshop.
“The Ministry of Education or some other NGOs should help out to facilitate these students,” said one of the facilitators.
Kivu Writers’ Workshop (KWW) is a project that works under the Voluntary Service Oversees organizations. The initiative has been in place since 2000.