•The Maasai changemaker was inspired by the true story of a young girl in Kenya.
•The event was attended by teachers, parents, students, and other players in the education sector.
On Monday, the world was commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child. Ashoka and Worldreader collaborated to launch the Ashoka Worldreader Changemaker Collection on 9, October 2021 at the Kenya National Library.
One of the books that were launched was Rebecca, The Maasai changemaker which was inspired by the true story of a young girl in Kenya who was alarmed by the signs of climate change in her community and proceeded to educate herself about the problem helping her galvanize her community and the government to take action.
The theme of the event was Books and Changemakers – Trace your reading and the change-making journey
The event was attended by teachers, parents, students, and other players in the education sector.
The initiative aims to promote a reading culture in children and youth and inspire them to become change-makers in their communities by practising empathy for the good of all.
A key interest for both non-profit organizations is to have children and parents who appreciate reading. This will, in turn, increase literacy skills and promote change-making qualities among young people.
The collection will feature 20 fictional and true stories about children and youth who have made positive changes in their communities. The stories will be captured in English and translated into other languages including Kiswahili. These books will also have activities for parents and teachers.
The stories and activities will be designed to not only inspire and equip the reader to identify and solve a problem in their community but also start them on a path of practising empathy.
The collection will be made available and promoted on all relevant Worldreader apps including the BookSmart App.
Speaking during the event was the word reader Regional Director for East Africa Joan Mwachi said that her organization has been keen on promoting digital learning and has rolled out "the keep reading" culture in children.
"The Ashoka world reader Changemaker collection fits very well with promoting our ongoing digital learning through the "Keep Children Reading" initiative. We have partnered with different organizations to complete a set of Kenyan digital textbooks to suit children of all ages," she said.
Ashoka’s Regional Director for East Africa, Vincent Otieno Odhiambo noted that the world was changing and there was a need to redefine success seeing that the young changemakers embodied the new skills needed to thrive.
“Ashoka is keen to build a world where everyone is a changemaker through various initiatives and at the moment we are identifying, supporting, and connecting young changemakers who are practising changemaker skills, “ commented Odhiambo.
Odhiambo however regretted that despite the growing need for changemakers, some schools and parents were still stuck on the outdated ideas that one must necessarily learn a skill to be qualified for a job.
“In today’s world, no one can build a life around repeating anything. One must learn to be a changemaker to make a valuable contribution in this world. This means that young changemakers must be the new norm for growing up. It is time for a big change,” he said.