Ishatou Bongkongyuy is a 10 year old girl of class 03 in GS Chaw, one of the Nascent’s MGD/ALIGN project schools in Noni Subdivision in Cameroon’s Northwest Province. Chaw is a small peasant community; over half of the population are Wodaabe. Ishatou is the last of a family of six. Her mother Delphine Keri lost her husband 10 years ago while pregnant with Ishatou.
Despite the lessons Ishatou received in school daily, she was not reading either for leisure or school texts at home because she could barely read. Ishatou had to repeat class 03 due to her poor performance. She recalls that “During the EGRA test in 2016, when I was in class 3 for the first time, I could only read 04 words from the text presented to me without really understanding what they meant”. “The mobile reading has given me so much interest in reading that I am fighting to improve my ability to read, and my sister who is in secondary school has been helping me too. I have read four books with the help of my sister since the program started. Now, I am very happy that on my own, I was able to read and understand 44 words from the last book my mother signed out with me at our school library”. Ishatou is more and more confident in her reading skills and always willingly reads for her parents during by-weekly book-sign-out sessions.
Delphine Keri, Ishatou’s mother confirms that Ishatou can now read and retell stories she has read in just 2 months since the start of the mobile reading program in her school. According to her mother “Ishatou is learning to read faster than other children around who sometimes come to read with her”.