Kigali Serena Hotel, on Wednesday, launched a community library under the Reading for Children (RFC) initiative at Kabuya Primary School in Nyamirama Sector, Kayonza District.
RFC is an education-focused initiative under the hotel chain, which gears towards promoting literacy and early childhood development.
Through the initiative, a three-day workshop was conducted by facilitators provided by the hotel where parents, teachers and community leaders in Nyamirama were trained on how they can encourage reading, writing, storytelling and language development in children.
Speaking at the event, Daniel Sambai, managing director of Kigali Serena Hotel, said because all over Africa many children leave primary school unable to read and write properly, this limits their opportunities in life.
“It is our mission that children grow with these skills so as to seize all the opportunities that will come their way to not only get good jobs but to also develop in speaking different languages including English, have critical thinking, have communication, social and emotional skills,” said Sambai.
He also added that it is crucial for parents to be part of this effort since they have a biggest role in making this system go on in a child’s daily life at school, and at home.
Twenty parents attended the training programme at which they were shown how to encourage their children to always read and write basing on three major scenarios common in our communities.
These included where a child is not able to read and write while the parent is literate, a child knowing how to read and write but the parent is illiterate, and where both the child and the parent are illiterate.
During the training, parents were encouraged to always use the pictures in a child’s book or any book they are reading to ask for interpretations of what the child studied at school.
To-date, Serena Hotels has launched 43 libraries across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda with over 10,000 beneficiaries, and plans to launch eight more.
Through the appointed librarians, the communities are taught how to carry out various activities to raise funds and additional books for the library.