Message On The International Literacy Day

September 8th, 2013

Today, Rwanda and the world celebrate the international Literacy day. This occasion is a precious opportunity to recognize the benefits and impact of literacy on our daily lives as a nation whose goals perquisite education.

Literacy has always been a tool for many countries to push their development forward. Through reading one comes to discover big ideas and profound concepts that can help not only one’s intellectual growth, but also a palpable change in a nation. That is why Rwanda – despite of its economic problems - needs to invest more in literacy programs so that, as a nation, we are not left behind.

Not only the government needs to do an effort, but also the private sector. Local and international non-governmental organizations will play an important role in achieving a higher literacy rate in Rwanda, a rate that stands at only 70% today. The ultimate goal of the Isaro Foundation is to join the government and other institutions in promoting reading and writing skills. One way to do that is to make sure that people have an easy access to books. For the last 2 years, we have been able to ship more than 16,000 books to Rwanda - and tens of thousands books are to be shipped very soon. 16,000 books may sound like a big number, it is like a drop in a sea. With the help of our partners, supporters and sponsors, we can - and will - do more. If we work together, there is no doubt that we will eradicate illiteracy in Rwanda.

We understand that providing books is not enough. They need to be read. As it has always been, parents and teachers still have the toughest job in this campaign of improving our literacy level. Parents should encourage their children to read. Teachers in schools should put an emphasis on reading and writing as part of their curricula. It is very important that children’s first experience in literacy starts at home and nurtured at the guidance of their teachers in schools. Teachers and parents will play a critical role in making Rwanda the most educated nation through literacy.

Education is still the foundation of development in developing nations. And the most basic building block that holds that foundation together is still reading. In a world where comprehension is power and literacy is the skill that opens the doors of fortune and success, we all have a responsibility as parents, educators and citizens, to instill in Rwanda a love of reading so that we can give to this generation - to the next generations - the chance to fulfill our dreams as a nation.

Happy International Literacy day!

Jean Leon Iragena

Founder & CEO

Isaro Foundation

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