As part of our literacy development focus, which supports our goal of quality education, we recently partnered with the Ducere Foundation to deliver inspiring creative writing master classes to teachers and students in Southern Uganda. The Ducere Foundation is an organisation who work with local governments and other Foundations with the desire to improve the quality of public education right across Africa.
The program focused specifically on developing the creative writing skills of teachers from Primary 6-7 and Senior 1-2 and also groups of students themselves from each year level. The initial master class was rolled out across five villages that we partner with in Southern Uganda including, Mannya, Busibo, Namabaale, Kyalulangira and Nabbunga.
An assembly was held to get everyone involved excited and thinking about their own personal story. Stories were then read from one of Ducere’s other Ugandan collections from children their age own age, how inspiring! The group then as a whole created impromptu stores together, for example, “One night an elephant stormed our village…” and then each participant had the opportunity to add their very own section to the story. Sounds not only educational, but a whole lot of fun!
The sessions encouraged participants to pull inspiration from their own imagination, stories from real life and stories from their elders. Skills such as story structure, story creation framework, descriptive skills, creating characters and setting scenes were also taught.
Our Education Developer Sarah, who joined in the classes, said that, “the teachers will get new skills and ideas, and the learners will be engaged and inspired to write their own stories and encourage others in their classes and schools to do the same.”
The schools involved received class collections of the Ducere African Children Stories collection from 6 countries including; Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania, with a total of 3300 books being distributed.
But wait, it gets better! After a few weeks of developing their skills, we will collect the children’s stories and a number of them will be selected for publication in the very first Cotton On Foundation x Ducere collection! Imagine being one of the students who has their story selected for publication? They will become an internationally published! Plus, all schools will receive copies of these books filled with stories from their surrounding communities.
We couldn’t be more excited about this innovative new approach to learning, and this is just phase 1. Watch this space as the program develops and we select our very own student’s stories for publication!
Thanks to our partners in this project, the Ducere Foundation, to learn more about the work they are conduction right across Africa to support quality education, head to http://ducerefoundation.org/.