According to UNESCO 2019 statistics - globally, at least 750 million youth and adults still cannot read and write and 250 million children are failing to acquire basic literacy skills. This results in an exclusion of low-literate and low-skilled youth and adults from full participation in their communities and societies.
Changing the status quo
Itenge founded the initiative with assistance from various partners. Last week, the Official Opening Ceremony of the 4th NBF took place under the theme: ‘Read Together, Build Together.’
More than 200 primary and high school learners attended the event and had the opportunity to participate in activities such as story-telling sessions, picture book reading and learning to make books.
“My personal aspiration is for this event to become a significant symbol that enlightens us all to read more books, write more books, and invest in local schools and home libraries in Namibia, together we can promote a culture of reading and writing in all corners of the country,” says Itenge.
The guest speaker at the event, Mavis Elias, is a NUST alumna who studied Civil Engineering, a field that is commonly dominated by men.
Elias says her inspiration to following this challenging career part started with the love of reading and gaining knowledge. Damian Katjimune, a Grade 10 learner from Hochland High School said: “It was my first time coming for this Book Fair and I found it interesting and it encouraged me to read more.”
Schools and partners
Schools represented included: Crescent Learning Academy; Rocky Crest High; Amazing Kids; People’s Primary; Jan Mohr Secondary; Hochland High, and Green Leaves Primary. The sponsors and partners included: FNB Namibia; Development Bank of Namibia; Goethe Institut; Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture; ChiNamibia; Senga Event and Hire; Namibia Library and Archive Services; NUST, University of Namibia; International University of Management; Devine Graphics; The Namibian Newspaper, and Yambeka Children Media.