IBBY-Yamada 2009: Zimbabwe

Reading promotion workshop

There are many children in Zimbabwe who have little or no access to books.  The development of libraries, especially for children, has been very poor.  Even where there are libraries there is a significant shortage of reading materials, even in the larger towns. 

This situation has damaged the natural reading culture within a country that once had the best education system in Africa.  To counter this effect, IBBY Zimbabwe proposed holding a workshop to encourage the reading habit and bring books back into the lives of children. 

The immediate aims of this workshop were:

  • To highlight the importance of promoting a reading culture in children
  • To share the knowledge and skills with the participants that are needed to promote a reading culture in their libraries and institutions
  • To train the participants in the various ways of promoting a reading culture in their libraries and institutions
  • To initiate a programme of action that will guide the participants in the promotion of a reading culture in their libraries and institutions.

Nineteen participants took part in this workshop that represented a diversified sample of educational institutions represented in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.  The participants came from institutions such as nursery schools, primary schools and public libraries that have children’s section in them.

The participants were very enthusiastic as this was their first participation of a story-telling workshop and it presented them with a platform to experience a new dimension in the area of storytelling.  The participants were first introduced to the importance of storytelling both to the children as well as themselves and also to the objectives of storytelling.  These included entertainment, promotion of a reading habit, therapy, as well as promoting good ethics and culture amongst the children.

Various methods of telling a story were highlighted to the participants and these included:

  • Drama
  • Puppets
  • Talking books
  • Picture scroll
  • Games
  • Props
  • Pictures and posters

A story-telling session was organized during the last day of the workshop when the participants put into practice what they had been taught.  This session was the most exciting one for the participants, as they had to put themselves into the shoes of children and be part of the story-telling session.  Some used drama to tell their stories whilst others preferred to use props during their story-telling session.