Rwinkwavu Community Library and Learning Center
Ready for Reading (RfR), a separatately funded program of Partners In Health is currently working on a library/learning center initiative with the strong support of the federal and local government and the Rwinkwavu community in Kayonza District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. This project will help provide much needed educational improvements in the district.
Partners In Health (PIH), is an international organization co-founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, providing comprehensive health care services and advocating for the sick and poor in developing countries worldwide. Six years ago PIH began the reconstruction of a full service hospital in Rwinkwavu, the first PIH District hospital in Rwanda, to provide medical and health care for the Kayonza catchment area. PIH has transformed this remote and depressed region by restoring health and hope through their community-based system of health care.
In short, due to the symbiotic nature of the relationship between health and education it became clear that the appropriate site for the Library/Learning center was adjacent to Rwinkwavu Hospital. If health care is the first step in breaking the cycle of poverty, education then, becomes the next logical progression in the process of improving people’s lives.
As the Rwandan government works to rebuild the physical infrastructure and the human resource capacity of the education system, the Library/Learning Center will help bridge the gap in the delivery of programming in language and computer literacy to all segments of the population. When there are few English-speaking teachers, books (libraries) and information technology (computers) become substitute teachers. In addition to providing language and ICT literacy training as its central focus the Library/Learning Center programming will offer story hours, distance learning, serve as an information resource, a career planning and skills training center, a site for a preschool, venue for talks and information pertaining to community health and other social and cultural programs. The Library/Learning Center staff will be working closely with the five primary/secondary schools in the sector through our Children’s Librarian/School Liaison and build a rotating collection of storybooks and supplemental reading material tailored to the curriculum and offer after school homework help.
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