Access to books are critical to the education of children. In Zanzibar, some schools do not have enough reading books for the students who simply want to learn. Amne Soud (YES 2014-2015, Tanzania, hosted by AYUSA in Mesa, AZ) is a strong advocate of education. She understands and believes in the power of books to advance literacy. She recently led a book donation project at Jambian Primary Schools where the goal was to get more reading books in the hands of children. Soud, along with other alumni also hoped to improve the children's reading, listening and writing skills during their visit. The donated books were collected by Soud from people throughout her community. The donated books included topics from basic counting skills, to family, to personal hygiene, and more. Soud also created some of her own books for the children using papers, pictures from newspapers, magazines and colored pens.
“I believe society can do something to solve shortages of important materials like books in different schools by being creative with materials available in our environment,” Soud said.
During the visit to the school, she and other YES alumni read the story "Mtoto Mwema" (A Good Child) to the children, which is a story about a young boy who likes reading books and learning lessons from them. The alumni also divided the children into groups for activities. The alumni helped the children to practice their reading and thoroughly enjoying their new books. YES Alumni also assisted the teaching staff with mathematics and English classes. The children played games with the alumni and the day was a truly joyous experience for the children.
The project was a success for the children, school staff as well as the alumni and other volunteers. Soud hopes that the youth will continue reading and solving challenges within their environment. While the main goal of this activity was donating books to help children with reading and listening skills, books can help us find meaning and purpose and transform lives.