Celebrating East African Writing!
There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all – Jackie Kennedy
The heedless plight of illiteracy has been plaguing our country, affecting our children’s learning abilities and thus hindering our nation’s development as whole. But what does reading a story book have to do with our society, our economy and even our health? Why do we need to care about our children reading stories when our primary school attendance has been high since the implementation of free education?
Even though our children have been attending school, are they really learning? Are they gaining the interpersonal skills that will help them cope with life, work and society? Are they developing their critical thinking abilities to be able to understand political and international issues? Are they able to articulate themselves in an effectively engaging manner, are they being encouraged to become innovate problem solvers? Well, reading stories is an extensively researched and proven necessary in childhood development gaining these skills.
Recent literacy assessments reports have revealed distressing statistics. Less than a third of class three pupils have basic reading skills and 10 % of class 8 children can’t read class 2 English or Kiswahili. Children simply don’t have access to reading materials as evidenced by the fact that only 2% of Kenyan schools have libraries.
Storymoja has taken up the initiative to battle the literacy crisis in Kenya by ensuring, through its project Start a library, that every child has access to books. In partnership with Yetu Inititve, Aga Khan Foundation and backed by USAID, Start a Library has launched a crowd- funding campaign that is so unique it will be historic.
Fronting the campaign is a young 10 year old girl called Chelangat. Chela voices the plea of 10 million children seeking our stories.
. “Stories are a fun way to learn new things and excel in our education,” – Chela
Dr. Auma Obama has heeded Chela’s call and together they have embarked on a national mission to gather enough words to raise 30 million shillings that will develop 100 libraries in public primary schools.
This campaign is exclusively different from any other campaign because it will result in the first ever collectively written book by a nation. As Chela puts it “Your donations become words, become books, and the books become libraries.” Every word contributed to the book costs 10shillings.
We would like you to become part of this campaign because we believe that it will be your story, your journey, and your message to the children of Kenya that will have the power to inspire and motivate a great nation. Your message of 300 words or more will be featured in this first ever, record- breaking book written collectively by a nation and will carry on generations to come.