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  • Soma International

The Impact of Reading

Opening up a book opens up new worlds. For centuries, books have been used to expand knowledge and creativity within all age groups. While reading may just seem like a fun pastime, it can also be helping someone’s body and mind without them even realizing it. Giving young children the resources they need to read allows them to develop cognitive skills and character, furthering the potential they have for success throughout their lives.

Many people can recall their favorite books from childhood, and how those books allowed them to imagine otherworldly places and experiences. Karim Eltawansy, Soma International’s Copywriting Director, remembers the impacts that books have had on his life and how they have served as an escape in difficult times.

“I got into reading literature when I found that the world of fiction can capture the details of life to an extent that reality can't. A good book can make us visit places we haven't seen, get to know a person we've never met, and love when we never found the person that fate desired,” said Eltawansy. “If anything, I turned to books out of loneliness. And the loneliness became moments of joy and despair, whether it be the achievement of revenge in a swashbuckling adventure novel or the deep psychological twists of fatalistic characters.”

Mohamed Mwinyi, the founder and CEO of Soma International, has also been impacted greatly by books. Reading not only gave him the opportunity to improve his own education, but to improve others’ educations as well.

“Reading helped me with building vocabulary as I was learning English. [It also] helped develop my passion to pursue a Master’s and a PhD. This is because in pursuing grad school there is no substitute for reading. Hence, without developing reading habits this process would have seemed extremely difficult. [Lastly,] reading opened ways for me to give back to my people in Boko, Dar es Salaam where I grew up. This would have not been possible without knowing the value of books and reading as well as access to the learning materials.” said Mwinyi.

Universal primary education was introduced to Tanzania in 1989, which led to huge increases in primary school enrollments at the time. Unfortunately, the number of primary school enrollments quickly dropped in 2007 due to Tanzania’s struggling and underfunded educational infrastructure. By donating to Soma International, you will allow Tanzanian youth to have the same positive experiences with books that many of us have had as both children and adults.

-Knowledge is Boundless.

If you would like to volunteer or donate, email us at:

Written by: Hannah Williams

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