Through WLR ambassadors’ journey with the kids, children ‘s stories and the neighborhoods where they read, those success stories are born.

 

Reading is the key

Reading is the key

2015/ Mohammed Amin Hassen/ Ethiopia

I believe reading is the key to unlocking every child's full potential and that reading opens up a world of possibilities. Of course, a good education is about much more than just reading. But being able to read well is the foundation on which so much else depends: children first learn to read and then they read to learn. At school, children need a broad and balanced curriculum that ensures each child finds and nurtures their particular talents. But for every child, being a strong reader is crucial. When it comes to the least developed  nations like Ethiopia, it is known that our country's education is entangled with complex problems of relevance, quality, accessibility and equity. The objectives of education here do not take into account the society's needs and do not adequately indicate a future direction.

Some of the major problems in our education system include the absence of interrelated content and modes of presentation, activities which enrich problem solving abilities and attitudes. Each year we leave millions of young children behind in their reading, many of them from poor backgrounds. This means they are less likely to experience the joy of reading, and continue to struggle in their education and career. 

WLR recognizes the fundamental importance of reading at an early age, and through the “Learning World" Euronews TV program, I first learned about this movement.  I had already tried to launch a village library in rural areas of my country and had even tried to prepare a manual, so WLR was the initiative I had been waiting for. WLR provided a very simple, effective, and inexpensive program for my dream.  Dr. Rana Dajani and her team at WLR were very supportive of my goal to open a library and immediately sent me a training manual on program management. I found women who were interested in opening libraries and after the training was completed, five libraries opened. I realized that the courage and commitment that these women showed in taking such quick action was proof that a contribution of women is crucial for the reorientation of socie-ty's attitudes and development, even in undeveloped countries like ours.

My main difficulty with implementing the initiative has been sourcing books for the children. During our sessions, the story tell-ers and I are constantly asked, “why don’t we get books and why is there only a session once a week?” This saddens me as it is not easy to ensure a good collection of books in the library, particularly when it comes to chil-dren's story books writ-ten in their native lan-guage.
For me, the most important aspect of the initiative is the joy and craving from children to attend and listen to story tellers and the questions and com-ments they give after each session. It is an honor to provide inspi-ration for the children.