I&M Bank Rwanda recently made a grant for RWF45m to the Rwanda Bookmobile (www.read.rw), a local NGO, to develop and broadcast a new storytelling program in Rwanda, called SOMA NSOME.
In the ancient Rwandan tradition, storytelling was integrated in home life. Elders told stories to children to share passions, fears, sadness, hardships, and joy. The art of storytelling has faded with the rise of technology and the stress and activity of modern life. SOMA NSOME is an effort to revive storytelling, for the benefit of Rwandan children and their families – to bring the wonderful stories of Bakame Editions and other publishers back to the spotlight.
Rwanda Bookmobile storytellers create radio and television programs for broadcast on several stations in Rwanda. Radio Maria, RadioTV10, Energy Radio, and KT Radio.
The hope is to share and inspire the love of reading in the children who tune in to the broadcasts. The new funding from I&M Bank Rwanda allows the local NGO to reach more children on more stations, with more stories.
“Storytelling is an interesting idea that’s why we decided to finance it. We have funded the buying of airtime on radio stations, we are interested in the idea of bringing back storytelling in homes,” says Robin Bairstow, Chief Executive Officer of I&M Bank Rwanda.
The local NGO was formed a year ago to operate a mobile library, to bring more books and storytelling programs to primary schoolchildren. The first year, a pilot project registered with RGB, worked with a small group of schools to develop the mobile library and storytelling programs. These schools included: GS Ste Famille, Muhima Primary School, GS Kimisagara, /Catholic Primary School Jali and EPA St Michel.
With the arrival of Covid-19 and the closure of schools, the NGO had to find a new vehicle to reach children, to fulfill the mission of inspiring the love of reading. They chose radio. Broadcasts began in April 2020 on Radio Maria and have continued every weekend since.
Rwanda Bookmobile is also creating a children’s television program with TV10 that will begin broadcast in August. “This amazing collaboration was the idea of Alice Nkulikiyinka (a Director of I&M Bank Rwanda). She heard our radio shows and dreamed of this kind of expansion. There is no telling where this road may lead us, but we will stay focused on our customers: the children of Rwanda, and we hope to inspire them to love to read,” says Shannon Porthault, co-founder of the local NGO.
Radio Energy: Monday to Friday (5.30 to 5.55pm).
Radio10: Monday to Thursday (5.30-5.55pm).
KT Radio: Friday, Saturday (6.45-7pm), Sunday (6.30-6.55pm).
Radio Maria: Saturday (6-6.30pm) Sunday, Monday (6.30-7pm).
TV10 will start Mid-August on Saturday and Sunday (5p.m).