Like it or not, it is a fact of life that the English language has the widest geographical reach in the world.
It is increasingly hard to imagine a successful life in the world’s competitive marketplaces without mastering this most universal language. Rwanda has been forward thinking in its efforts to prepare its youth to adapt to this reality.
And although the tools of communication change, given the ever changing technologies, reading books remains a meaningful and enriching way of learning.
The Rwandan community in New York understands this. They see the need to supply English reading materials to Rwandans so that they can easily transition to adapting to English. When they initiated the Book Drive Project for Rwanda, with the support of the Friends of Rwanda, the Rwandan community in New York dedicated their time and resources to collect English books as a way of boosting a reading culture in Rwanda.
What began as a relatively small effort became a meaningful reality when, despite the challenges, the Book Drive managed to deliver 3,000 new and used English books, worth over $100,000.
The books were donated to schools in Huye District, ranging from primary to university level and the newly constructed public library in Nyamata.
The Book Drive shipment included a spectrum of subject matters including children’s books, English materials, encyclopedias, world classic literature, and textbooks, ranging from science to art. Additionally, school supplies, 14 computers and software from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology were donated. Distribution of these items was facilitated by the Rotary Club of Butare.
Among the beneficiaries present at the delivery ceremony was a representative of the College Imena in Karama, noted that the books and equipment would help Rwandan children to become open to cultural diversity. The official pledged was to allocate additional resources to ensure that the donation would be well maintained and widely available to students at the College.
The Book Drive Project for Rwanda will remain an on-going effort to put English books and resources into the hands of Rwandan children, especially those in rural schools where there is still limited access to resources and technology, including the internet.