Book club workshop promotes reading culture amongst youth

Traveling all the way from the Ohangwena region in Northern Namibia, RoiniLamonaHamutenya, 13, attended a Book Club workshop at the Goethe-Institut here on Saturday.

The Book Club workshop is an initiative by children's books author HelviItenge and co-facilitated by Madeline Carlman a volunteer from the United States of America.

The workshop was convened with the primary purpose of equipping young children with the necessary tools and skills to start book clubs at their schools; within their communities, at libraries and resource centers across the country.

Fourteen children attended the workshop.

The youngest Etuna Martin is five years old and the eldest participant was fifteen year old TalishiKangandjela from Delta Secondary School.

The Book Club Workshop as an event is a precursor to the Namibia Book Fair.

The book fair is intended to promote a reading culture as an effective tool in the education of the Namibian Child.

The founder of the Namibia Book Fair HelviItenge told Nampa on the sidelines of the workshop that reading from a young age empowers learners with a broader understanding of the world and prepares them for the challenges they will experience as they grow into adulthood.

She also encouraged reading as an enjoyable past-time that shapes a child's creative intelligence and helps them gain an understanding of the world they live in.

Helvi and Madeline encourage parents to play an active role in helping their children establish book clubs in their respective communities.

Finding a venue and finding transport from home to the venue can be a challenge for the kids if parents are not actively involved in their book club activities.

Helvi has authored 10 children's books which are based on traditional stories like ShimbunguNaaKavandje (Jackal and Hyena).

The books are written in English but Helvi has expressed intentions to have them translated into their original indigenous languages to promote diversity in Namibia's literature landscape.

Nehoya and the Crocodile, a children's book written by Helvi has been adapted into a stage play by ChiNamibia in partnership with students from the Namibia College of the Arts (COTA).

The play will be performed at the fourth Namibia Book Fair which is scheduled to take place at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, campus on the 06 September 2019.

Source: Namibia Press Agency