A reading revolution in Rwanda

lldephonse is leading a reading revolution in Rwanda.

We first met him when we organised two weeks of training for him through our Let’s Read programme. That was three years ago – and he's still running the reading club in their village today! 

Reading Club Hero: Ildephonse

After he started training, he immediately saw the hurdles there were to learning and took note of the challenges. When it was raining or too hot, it really rained and it was really hot, making it too difficult for the children to read or learn outside.

So he decided to do something about it.

Ildephonse built an annex on to the side of his house, by himself, all so that children would always have somewhere to read. And now they do.

Ildephonse, Reading Club Leader pictured inside the reading club, Gicumbi District, Rwanda.

Ildephonse, Reading Club Leader with Wilson, his pupil and nephew. Pictured inside the famous reading club, Gicumbi District, Rwanda.

Ildephonse is always creating – the reading club is filled with handmade signs and toys, from TVs to mobile phones, glasses and instruments.

He's really passionate about his work and wants to leave a legacy, not just for his village, but the entire country.


Ildephonse completed the two week 'Lets Read' training in 2016 along with 34 aspiring educators from the same region.

He started implementing his training immediately, working with the community to teach families the importance of sending their children to the reading club and in getting an education.

The club runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays but the room that Ildephonse built is always available for children to come and read.

During the four-year Let’s Read project, we trained local partners who then trained local communities and created wonderful teachers, just like Ildephonse.

Charitine, Ildephonse's granddaughter, holds the toy car he made, Gicumbi District, Rwanda.


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Standing above, is Ildephonse's grandaugher, Charitine, who performed this poem about her mum and dad during the reading club.


"Lovely mother,
You whom I loved from my birth
For sure I m thankful to those who allowed me to have you
When you gave birth to me, I was very small, my skin was very soft
You held me with much happiness
You protected me from coldness and hunger
And me Rubyogo I grew up
Lovely mother, I will take care of you in your old ages
That’s what I promise you lovely mother
Nice father, Let me sing out your praises
The pillar of our home, the provider my life
I came to join other small children
It’s thanks to you father
My mother can prove me wrong if I am lying."


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