Commute, read, and gain knowledge: Gira Igitabo Mu Rugendo campaign launched

On Tuesday 6th February 2018, 1,200 Kinyarwanda children’s books were placed on 12 buses for commuters’ reading pleasure while traveling in Kigali City.

The initiative is part of the Gira Igitabo Aho Uri Campaign, launched in November 2017, aimed at encouraging everyone to read wherever they are. Gira Igitabo Aho Uri is led by Arise Education, in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and Culture, USAID Mureke Dusome project, the Ministry of Education and the City of Kigali.

During the Gira Igitabo Mu Rugendo campaign launch, Bizimungu Abel, Director General of Social Development in Kigali City said, “Gira Igitabo Mu Rugendo is really important for the Kigali City inhabitants and Rwandans in general. Most Rwandans spend a lot of time while travelling between their homes and work. The time spent might go beyond even an hour a day. Gira Igitabo Mu Rugendo, through Mureke Dusome project, helps them to make this time profitable; no wasted time rather, gaining knowledge by reading while travelling.”

USAID supports the Ministry of Education to improve early grade reading instruction in primary education and strengthening school-community partnerships through the Mureke Dusome project, implemented by Save the Children.

Luann Gronhovd, Education Director at the USAID, said at the event, “For a child, reading opens doors to a brighter future; reading is critical to a child’s success in schooling and throughout life. And as we all know, a child who reads will be better equipped one day to contribute to the family, to the community and to the country. This is why the United States of America, here in Rwanda is working closely with the Government of Rwanda, schools and communities, to support Rwanda’s goals for literacy, ensuring that every child can read Kinyarwanda with confidence by the time they complete Primary Grade 3.”
 “It takes a lot of practice to learn to read well. Mureke Dusome is encouraging parents and communities to provide children more opportunities and encouragement to read out of school. This is really important,” Gronhovd added.

Gira Igitabo Mu Rugendo seeks to remind Rwandans that they can read wherever they are, particularly during downtime, such as commutes.

“It is about reminding people that they should really read during their journey on buses. While we are travelling, do we remember that a book is a place to find knowledge to build our family, our country and ourselves? Today, we are putting books in 12 buses, but the number will increase to 100 buses before September 2018,” said Mutesi Gasana, the Director of a local publishing house, Arise Education.

Gira Igitabo Mu Rugendo campaign is looking at putting more books into the hands of children’s parents and community members.

The Gira Igitabo Aho Uri campaign launched in November 2017, and will run through 2018. A total of 100 buses are expected to be filled with books for commuters and reading campaign activities will also be held across the five provinces of Rwanda.