Over 138 primary and secondary students, last week attended a five-day literacy camp dubbed ‘LitCamp’ in Rwinkwavu, Kayonza District, Eastern Province.
The camp was organised by Ready for Reading in partnership with Lit World organisation, a non-governmental organisation based in Kayonza District.
Under the theme ‘A kid who reads grows up to be a citizen, who cares about his/her community’, the camp aimed at introducing young children to the reading culture.
Normally held during holidays, this year’s camp focused on learning, mentorship, extra-curricular activities such as dancing and singing, as well as how students can best hone their art creativity.
According to Jean Marie Habimana, the camp creates a good opportunity for empowering young people through literacy skills.
“Through this programme, we foster leadership skills through bolstering a positive sense of self-esteem which creates supportive social networks. This positions learners for a successful future as well as provides communities with skilled people to support future development,” he says.
Everlyne Mukakabano, a woman advocate from Kayonza District council, who mentored the students, said reading does not only impact children and students but also adults. She noted that to achieve this, the whole community should be involved.
“When reading is introduced to learners, especially at a young age, it builds critical thinking skills and an innovative culture in them. It prepares them to solve many issues in life compared to those not exposed to reading. This positions them to succeed later in life,” she said.
Mukakabano urged the students to always be guided by good morals and to regard reading as a tool that will help them transform their communities at large.
Different mentors shared their inspiration as stories, especially how they were able to make it despite the hardships they passed through.
This, according to Habimana was to enlighten and encourage students to always work hard and change the way they perceive life.
Shallon Nyirarudodo, a S2 student at G.S Nkondo, said interacting with students from different schools had broadened her mind on many aspects.
“I have learnt how to be bold and share ideas with others. Before, I used to read so that I can personally pass exams, but now, I know why it’s important to work with my colleagues for shared success,” she said.