Promoting Literacy

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Education is a primary focus of the Himalayan Institute’s humanitarian efforts. At the Himalayan Institute Cameroon work is being done to support local schools and promote literacy. In late February, the HIC teamed up with a local NGO, Knowledge For Children, to bring children’s books to a rural school.

HIC Consultant Amanda Masters reads with a group of young students.

HIC Consultant Amanda Masters reads with a group of young students.

More recently, HIC staff members have begun to work with a reading group run by the Sisters of Notre Dame. Elementary age students attend the group twice a week where as many as 40 children pile into a cozy reading room to practice their alphabet, read stories, and sing songs. “The children who have been coming here since they were little are now at the top of their class,” said Sister Catherine, who has been running the small library for the past decade.

The children pass around a bird’s nest, before reading ‘Are You My Mother?’, the story of a young bird.

The children pass around a bird’s nest, before reading ‘Are You My Mother?’, the story of a young bird.

Books are expensive and uncommon in households, and children’s books are even more scarce. The reading group helps children to establish an interest and an excitement about reading which in turn helps them to flourish in all of their academic subjects in school.

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The Himalayan Institute Cameroon in collaboration with Rotary clubs around the world is also working to build a library. 30,000 books have already been transported to Kumbo, where work is underway to secure a location for the library. The project aims to bring access to quality reading materials to the entire community, as well as adult and children’s literacy programs, Internet access, and technology education programs.

Once completed, this will be the largest public library in the region. With greater access to books and educational materials, children and adults alike have more opportunities to better themselves and their community.

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