enjuba is African Library Project’s most recent partner in Uganda. In Uganda, eight of every ten children of 10 years or under cannot read. enjuba is working to help increase the literacy rate in the country by bringing reading into Ugandan culture. One step they’re taking to do this is their newfound partnership with African Library Project.
“It is an education organization focused on helping children attain literacy skills to improve school completion rates. We do this through spelling bees, library development and publishing of afro-centric children’s books to help children fall in love with books LEARN to READ so they can READ to LEARN,” Aaron Kirunda from enjuba said during an interview with African Library Project.
“I was eager to partner with ALP because it was a sure way of getting relevant books to children and communities in Uganda in ways that no other organization involved in the same activity was doing. There was a commitment on the side of ALP to ensure that the book drives meet the needs of the recipients rather than dump discarded books here.” enjuba has a strong relationship with the communities and schools in Uganda. This partnership allows African Library Project to reach schools that we might not have been able to reach on our own.
Another way enjuba works to grow literacy rates in Uganda is by hosting an annual spelling bee, which reaches 1.5 million children in 1,500 schools. They have also “also distributed over 200,000 books to children and libraries across the country in the last 4 years, and these in many ways have gone a long way to shape these children, and get them to read even more.”
Books are not common place items in Uganda and enjuba is working to change that. “Libraries are important as a visual image to send a strong message that these are where all information about almost everything can be found. I believe with such spaces, we can start to build a culture of curiosity, questioning and investigation. We can start to have a generation that is eager to read, from early on, and it can send a clear and strong message that owning books is a worthwhile investment, and reading is key to opening us up to a world beyond our village, to understanding and learning about other people, to understanding that we are not alone in this world and that we need each other. Libraries and books can turn an entire generation around and set their trajectory to a better life.”
Even though our partnership with enjuba came during a turbulent year, they have been able to adapt to this new normal and find ways to continue to support their teachers and parents as more things are done from home. “The books arrived during COVID19 lockdown, we have been able to distribute all of them, and there is a lot of excitement among the librarians and the children who have gotten a chance to see and use the books,” Kirunda wrote.
enjuba wanted to make sure to thank all the volunteers, “being relentlessly selfish in giving of your time and effort and resources to mobilize and ensure the books are sent over to Uganda for many communities to benefit. You are changing the world.”
We are currently working on sending our second container of books to primary schools across Uganda with the help of enjuba. With your support, we can continue spreading our mission across Uganda and similar countries.