African Great Lakes 

Stories from Children’s Peace Library in Rwanda

By Transformational Leadership Center (TLC)

Her name  is UWERA NOELLAShe is a student in Gacurabwenge, she study in primary 4, she likes borrowing books and take them home, she says that in this period of Covid-19, we are lack to continue both reading and studying, even is not hard for us,  we can’t meet the friends or others students at library and we can’t do the competitions, debates and plays as before but  we have hope that  this period will finish and we will back in our good time at library, we want to thank you for continue take care of us by offer us the books which needed in our learning.

My Name is Happy Gift MUNEZERO, I study in P5 at George Fox primary school and I am 11 years old. I want to share with you how the Children’s Peace Library helped me in my journey of reading. I started coming to this library in 2016. I was a baby of 5 years old and I was in Nursery at Kagarama Primary School. At that time I followed my friends, my brothers, and my cousins to the library because it was in my school compound as it is today. I started by looking at the pictures in the books, then after I started  to read the simple books about the alphabet but I had my cousin (he lived with me at home and he was in primary six) helped  me to read the stories and he explained them to me in Kinyarwanda because I did not know English.

When I reached primary, I was able to read one word myself and my cousin helped me to read sentences. What motivated me to come to the library every day, I learned a lot from the books because sometimes I read the things in books then I reached them in the lessons so that helped me in learning very easily, win well in the class and  also learned more words in English. 

In 2019, I was able to read myself while also asking librarian Francine and other people to explain to me some difficult words. At that time, I was interested in reading the story books in Kinyarwanda and in English. I also liked the text books (social studies, science literature, etc.). I came to the library with my colleagues even during the holiday and participated in different events like sharing stories, competition, debate and other events.

In 2020, I started primary5, I was good enough to read by myself and know how to use a dictionary, but this year was bad to me because of COVID-19. When lockdown started, I had only two books at home. I read them in the first two weeks, then after I missed books to read I was happy to hear that the library reopened so I came to take books and read them at home.

I want to encourage all children to go to the library or use books all the time, because there is knowledge and skills in books. And I thank everyone who helped me learn to read,   especially my mother who encourages me every day to read.

My name is Divine Imumpaye, I study in primary5 and I live with my mother in Bugeshi Sector. I  like to read  books. Every Friday I come to pick books at the library and read them all in one weekend. This library helped me to improve knowledge by reading; I learned a lot of new words and I understand different stories from the books. For me I think the books will help me to achieve my dreams because I have a dream of being a doctor so it is why I have to read more books which will help me to develop my skills.

My name is TUYIRINGIRE Obed and I am a student in P6 in Kirerema primary school. I was lucky to participate in peer mediation training where I learned many things such as peace. This training helped me to change my behavior such as fighting with others. After training I decided to change my behavior, and try to adopt good characteristics that will bring peace to my peers. Also, I am going to help others by telling them about conflicts and how we can fight against them, I will explain to my peers about anger and characteristics of someone with anger so that they will know how they must go away from him/her. I will teach them how we must ask for forgiveness when we make mistakes. This will help us to grow up with the culture of peace.  

 My is MUKAMANA M. Louise and I am a teacher at Optie Nursery and primary school here in Bugeshi sector. I want to thank you first for bringing this library to the area; it helps our children and teachers in learning and the students like to read picture books where they easily get many vocabularies matching  with  things they find at home or on the way to school. For us teachers we use these books in the lessons to help children in reading and in giving them an example of things. Really we are lucky to have this library because even us teachers we benefit from new words in English and more knowledge