What started for us as a nice and fun activity three years ago grew out into a real organization, which reaches now 6000 children in Mwanza. We currently have 15 travelling library carts, each run by their own cart manager with a help of local volunteers. This year there are around 75 local volunteers and 45 international volunteers involved – mostly university students who have an affirmation with children or teaching – they use their free time between lectures to go to playfields or schools to read to the children or show them audio-visual materials about different topics (which is fun an colorful). The aim of my little travelling library is to make children enjoy learning and reading, to raise awareness about the importance of education and to make them familiar with English at a very early age.
Primary Schools In Tanzania have no libraries there is no way children can get access to learning materials in public school, which reduces their chance for independent learning and creating their own reading habits, The situation is worse for children surrounded by poverty. Every subject in primary school is taught in Swahili then all of the sudden every subject is taught in English in secondary (except for Swahili) which is a drastic change. For children this language barrier is often a big gap, which makes school in the first year very challenging. By giving English books to primary school children (from age 5-14 years old), the children get already familiar with reading and understanding English, which bridges the gap and furthermore children can enjoy nice books and buld their reading habits.
My Little Travelling Library really wants to make reading interactive and fun, so besides reading stories to children, we also organize reading competitions between different schools and classes, we make a question list to answer after children read a book, and children can give presentations in class to explain about the story and give their understanding of the title. Furthermore we organize reading picnics, debate clubs, reading competitions, parties and football games, the cart follows children anywhere they prefer reading, We also operate audio visual library where by using computers and projectors we show children important science topics that will boost their understanding.
Currently we want to work more with digital technology to prepare children for the future.
What is My Little Travelling Library doing?