In Botswana, as it is in most of Africa and maybe all over the world, kids are reading less and less. Here the other problem is development budgets often have little money for libraries, and bookstores are few and far between, not to mention that most books are just too expensive. Books are about P200, with the minimum wage around P1000 and prices going up everyday, who can afford to buy a book under those circumstances?
What I find lovely, though, is when Africans sort out innovative solutions to their problems. FunDza Literacy Trust is one such solution. Cellphones have taken off big in Southern Africa and FunDza has latched on to that to get kids reading. I'm proud to be writing regularly for them.
How it works is a story begins on a Friday. Each story has seven chapters and one chapter goes out on the kids' cellphones each day. Here is my author's page with all of the stories I've written at FunDza. Click on any story and see the comments the readers leave. The kids are reading and seriously engaging with the stories! I think this is wonderful!