Ready for Reading provides literacy resources and skills to people in rural Rwanda.
In a part of the world where learning to read and write is not an expectation or even a possibility...
Literacy Changes Everything.
Imagine for a moment you couldn’t read…street signs, type on a computer or send a text message, apply for a job, write a check, read the instructions on your child’s bottle of medication, read them a story.
What would your day-to-day life be like?
For over 2 million men, women and children in Rwanda that is their reality. over
Literacy unlocks the potential of preschoolers to grandparents, inspiring them to dream big and hope for a future they never thought possible.
"Thanks to Ready for Reading now I can help my children with homework and read them stories. In the Mom’s Club I learned how to sew. This is the tool to help me start a sewing station to shape my future life.”
On a trip to Rwanda in 2006 Betsy a writer and mother of 4 was deeply moved by the resilience and hope of the Rwandans she met still suffering in the aftermath of the country’s 1994 genocide.
Ready for Reading was born out of the simple desire that the kids in Rwanda, just like hers, should have the same access to books and reading as part of the fabric of their growing-up.
Betsy founded Ready for Reading in 2009 to tackle the lack of literacy and learning opportunities endemic in rural Rwanda. Ready for Reading opened the 8,000 sq ft Rwinkwavu Community Library/Learning Center in 2012.
In this place that had so little opportunity and hope, it quickly became the hub and heart of the community, a resource-rich space where children and adults are encouraged to learn, engage, enjoy and thrive.
The Ready for Reading Team is passionate about literacy, working tirelessly to level the playing field in underserved rural Rwanda. Without them the Library/Learning Center would be no more than a building with books and computers.
Their dedication, compassion and commitment are the absolute key to our success as they continually strive to grow, find new ways to engage the community and reach more people. They are the Heart and Soul of Ready for Reading.
Rwinkwavu sits in a remote rural valley in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, 2 and 1/2 hours southeast from the capital, Kigali and 15km from the nearest paved road. Hardest hit by the 1994 genocide, it is the poorest region in Rwanda with the lowest literacy rates, with 95% of the population living on under $2 a day, stuck in the cycle of subsistence farming.
When we arrived in Rwinkwavu in 2009 there were no adult literacy programs and schools lacked adequate infrastructure, reading and learning materials and trained teachers. Today Ready for Reading’s Library/Learning Center has become the heart of the community promoting literacy, nurturing curiosity and love of learning; serving as the information, education, cultural and social hub for Rwinkwavu and the surrounding area.
Ready for Reading’s location adjacent to the bustling Partners In Health/Rwinkwavu District Hospital allows folks to couple the benefits of healthcare and education. With the growing need for community health workers, jobs in tourism in nearby Akagera Park and and businesses cropping up, the need for language and computer literacy is more important than ever and Ready for Reading is filling that need.