The Kenya National Library Services in Mombasa County has launched an initiative to create awareness on the importance of reading for leisure in partnership with a Children’s books author.
An initiative dubbed Mombasa Reads Kids Club (MRK) is aimed to publicize and promote reading among children from a tender age.
The initiative is an activity that is meant to popularize reading and make it a lifelong hobby.
The main objective of cultivating and promoting a reading culture is to make reading a habit that is appreciated and loved by children.
Speaking during the launch Sarah Abdi the children’s books author and the pioneer of the project said the aim of the club is to form a community of readers to bring social change to enlighten, empower, and add knowledge.
Ms. Sarah said her initiative aim is to embrace total change and create a culture of readers in the county circle and form a community of readers to bring social change to enlighten, empower, and add knowledge.
Ms. Sarah said reading should be a social enterprise and believes that reading is food to the brain and when introduced at a young age, the children will be in a better place to develop a good reading habit and enjoy learning at school.
During the event, Ms. Sarah launched her second children’s storybook titled A Boy Named Salah, a ceremony that was graced by Mombasa County in charge of education ICT Library service Samuel Ngugi.
She said apart from transforming, teaching, and entertaining, her books act as a preserve of knowledge and culture which is being impacted to the younger generations.
“Times have changed with rural to urban migration. We used to get stories from our grandmothers with new modalities in place, children will be able to learn about their culture and customs through reading my books,” she pointed out.
Ms. Sarah says she has written two storybooks, Arawelo and A Boy Named Salah with a background setting from a far-flung remote village in Mandera, depicting the real life of children in those areas of Northern Kenya with the aim of motivating and empowering them in reading.
The woman author will be donating her two books to all government libraries in 47 counties where young children can access them and she plans to digitize her work to allow remote access globally.
On his part, Mombasa County Executive in charge of education, ICT, and Library services Samuel Ngugi called on stakeholders to embrace the culture of reading books at an early age where he urged the Coastal community to instill the culture of reading books among pupils at an early age.
[Ms. Sarah Abdi during the launch of ‘A Boy named Salah’ at the Mombasa Library. Photo/Haramo Ali].
“It’s important to instill the culture of reading in pupils while they are growing up so that it becomes part of their habit in life,” he pointed out.
He decried the shortage of learning and reading books for over 100,000 students within Mombasa County where he appealed for book donations from donors.
Ngugi said due to the COVID-19 challenge plans are underway to form a digital library to allow remote access to educational content, breaking down the physical barriers too.