African Great Lakes 

Children’s Peace Libraries Reopen in Rwanda

Around the world, people are still fighting COVID-19, and no one has escaped the impact of this disease. In Rwanda, as in other countries, the consequences of COVID-19 have been many, affecting different sectors at all levels. The Transformational Leadership Center found itself particularly affected during this time; in particular, the Children’s Peace Libraries were unable to allow children or any visitors to come to the libraries.

In Rwanda, with the new government measures of the 1st of May, some services will be allowed to reopen, as long as they respect of the measures put in place by the government such as wearing masks, following social distancing guidelines, and washing hands.

The Children’s Peace Libraries were proud to reopen in this hard time to help students to access books, a service which will help them to occupy themselves as they stay home until classes resume in September.

The Children’s Peace Library was happy to reopen its libraries and receive young children and their parents who came to borrow books for use at home.

The Transformational Leadership Center has now six Children’s Peace Libraries located in different districts: Kicukiro, Gicumbi, Rubavu, and Musanze. Two of the libraries are new. All the libraries are open and have started to receive young children and parents who want to borrow books. 

With respect to government measures, everyone must wear a mask, wash their hands before entering the Library, and respect a social distancing rule of one meter between each person. A few children can sit in library and read, while others can take home books.

The number of children and parents who came to the library is increasing day by day, and a few of them shared in their testimonies about how they are happy to be able to access the library again.

 Material for washing hands before touch books

(left) This is Pierre RUBASHAMUNTORE. Pierre is a parent of four children and lives in the Gacurabwenge Cell, Byumba Sector. He came to the library to borrow books for his kids. He said, “I want to thank TLC and the Children’s Peace Library so much for this decision to help us by offering books for our kids. My children are home but have nothing to do. Now they are going to read books every day, and this will help them to continue learning the things from the books instead of staying home for nothing.”

My name is Safina NIYONSABA. I am 12 years old. Today I am happy to come back to the library again to read and borrow books. Before COVID-19 we came to this library many times to borrow books after school, but because of this disease the library was closed. Staying home was so bad because we helped our parents do some work at home, but after finishing that we didn’t have anything to do. As we wont start school until September, it has been a big challenge to stay home without books. I thank you for opening this library again; we are going to learn a lot from the books.   

My Name is Diane KAYONGA; I live in Gatenga Sector, Kicukiro District and am the parent of three children. I usually like to use the library to help my children learn a culture of reading. My oldest daughter likes reading the most; it was a big challenge during the lockdown period because she didn’t have any books at home. The only occupation was watching television. I was so happy to see the library open and borrow books for our children. These libraries will help our kids while they are still home. We thank TLC and the librarians so much for this service they provide people, and I encourage all the parents to continue help the children to read books.