“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Okay there's nothing wrong with KFC if you like fried chicken and biscuits, but I'm gonna tell you about KRC which is super cool, so listen up.
Did your parents read to you as a child? I hope they did. Mine didn't, and that's cool -- they were doing the best that they could. But I swear that to this day I am a super slow reader because I didn't start early.
I met Parfait at a book release party in Boston and immediately loved what he is doing for children in Rwanda with his Kigali Reading Center (KRC).
Parfait didn't speak English 9 years ago when he moved to the United States from Rwanda. It was through the help provided by a tutoring program in New Haven that he was able to learn English -- get this, by reading children's books.
He went on to pursue an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut. Currently, he is finishing his Masters Degree in International Relations at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Growing up in exile, Parfait'a father told him to embrace education because in it lay the secret to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Wade Cedar, Parfait's partner in the KRC, grew up in poverty as the youngest of 4 boys, was homeless for a period of time and lived with friends for many years. Wade is the first in his family to graduate high school, and finished #1 in his college program at the University of Massachusetts Boston with a 4.0 GPA. Wade is also currently pursuing a Masters degree in International Relations at the University of Massachusetts.
Parfait and Wade believe that education is the most powerful tool for social change and the shaping of the individual because literacy increased their odds of success. Through the Kigali Reading Center, they hope to give back to the different communities in Kigali-Rwanda by providing the same opportunities that began for both of them by discovering the joy of reading. Both Wade and Parfait are proof of what education can afford individuals, communities and societies as a whole.
Facts about the KRC:
Through straightforward, engaging, and accessible literacy programs, the nonprofit Kigali Reading Center will offer children in Kigali, Rwanda, the opportunity to increase their English skills and embrace the challenges of an ever-changing world.
A workforce fluent in English is a key component to realizing Rwanda's national economic goal to become a hub of business and technology in Africa. On an individual basis, English proficiency opens up education and employment opportunities, a way to break the cycle of poverty. Yet Rwanda has experienced difficulties in finding adequate foreign and domestic instructors to teach English. In 2009, out of Rwanda's 31,000 primary school teachers, only 4,700 were trained in English.
The Kigali Reading Center will encourage English language literacy for students in Kigali by fostering tutoring relationships and increasing access to engaging books, all free of charge for the children of Kigali who need it most. Weekly group story time, open to all in the community, will be a time for adults and children to enjoy stories together while improving their English comprehension. An informal lending library of books will be available for all in the community to borrow and enjoy. The KRC's long-term vision is to create a safe, nurturing space where students can learn English side-by-side with volunteer mentors.
To read more about and help this amazing endeavor check out:
Also, have some children's books that you would like to donate? Check out Prana Power Yoga because we are collecting children's books for Parfait and Wade and the KRC at our three Massachusetts studios. Best ever!
Have the best day ever!
Taylor plus 5