By Sallyanne Atieno
Appreciating our cultural diversity! What a way to kick-start NRCF book club 2023. The objective is to cultivate a reading culture among young boys and girls. The first book is “The Elephant Girl” a story of Jama – a young Maasai girl who befriended a Baby elephant.)
The Book club was launched on Saturday 28th, January 2023. A second session was on held Monday 30th. Going forward sessions will be held on Saturdays and weekdays during school breaks.
Growing up as a young Masaai Indigenous girl, Tunda (Primary department Senior Case Manager) shared her story with the girls. Listening to her story the girls were very fascinated by her childhood, growing up in the countryside, and were ready to learn more from the book.
We started with only three girls and since we only had one copy of the book. We are applying the read-aloud and around method for the sessions. This way everyone gets to read two chapters before the other.
Since all the girls were born in the city and none of them is Maasai, Tunda thought of sharing a little bit of her culture with them during the second session. She thus adorn them with the Maasai regalia for the session, and then they took pictures at the end of the session. It was an exciting experience for the young girls. They got a feeling of how Jama described her appearance during the community ceremony/occasion she attended with her mother and her Kokoo (Grandmother).
The pioneer girls are – Dorcas Atieno (from the Luo community) Esther Chebet (from the Kalenjin community and Getrude Ndunge (from the Kamba community) This was also a way to help us appreciate the beauty found in our cultural diversity. One of the photos is a picture of me showing them a photo of a “sandgrouse” as one of the girls asked what type of animal it was.
Four more girls and five boys have expressed an interest to join the book club thus will be incorporating them in the coming sessions of the book club.