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Discovering the joy of reading in Chesengoch

In isolated, rural communities where people have few opportunities, books are at their most precious. Chesengoch is a tiny rural village in Kenya’s vast, arid Great Rift Valley. The area is rugged with steep cliffs and poor roads. Most people still practise a traditional pastoral lifestyle, leaving them vulnerable to frequent droughts. Conflict between tribes has further destabilised the area and prevented many adults from attending school. Poverty and illiteracy are high.

 

 

Chesengoch was selected to be a part of our Inspiring Readers programme in early 2016 and today local schools have brand new books in the classrooms for the first time. The local community knows that education is the key to their children’s futures.

 

 

Many of the area’s adults never had the chance to go to school and as a result illiteracy is high. When parents around Murkutwo Primary school saw their children coming home reading, they also saw an opportunity to learn to read themselves.

With the support of local teachers and librarians, they secured support from government to fund an adult education teacher and began learning to read using the Inspiring Readers books.

 

Joseph
Joseph (left) attends the adult education class with his grandparents

 

44 year old Joseph attends the class alongside his 70 year old father. Joseph was able to attend a few years of school, but as he was not able to finish his primary education his literacy was low.

 

 

The class is giving Joseph confidence and he has big plans for his future:

 

Joseph is also clear on the importance of the Inspiring Readers books to him and his classmates.

 

 

Florence
Florence, 60, has learned to read for the very first time

 

60 year old Florence studies alongside Joseph. She left school when she was seven to help out on her family’s farm. Before the class, she could not even write her name.

 

 

Joseph and his classmates provide an inspiring example of how providing books creates opportunities for learning and literacy to thrive.

We would like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for funding Inspiring Readers in Kenya.

To be a part of helping more learners like Joseph access the books they need, please make a donation today.