Spreading the Love of Reading Beyond School Walls

Some of my favorite childhood memories involve curling up with a good book and embarking on a world of adventures unfolding on each page. But for 250 million children around the world who cannot read or write, getting lost in a story is a pleasure they may never get to experience.


For me, it’s hard to imagine myself flipping through a book and only seeing pages full of symbols, unaware of their meaning or the stories they tell. But for more than a third of all primary-school age children around the world, that’s a reality they face every day. And going to school is not enough to guarantee learning.


Too many children around the world are at risk of never learning to read or read well, whether they attend school or not. Children like 10-year-old Sita from Nepal. Sita lives in Budhathok village, a remote farming community, where the nearest market is 90 minutes by car (if you’re lucky to have a car), families are struggling to make ends meet, and books and time for reading are a luxury they often can’t afford.


Sita, 10, reads at home with books borrowed from Save the Children’s mobile library in her village in rural Nepal. Save the Children’s new literacy report proves that practice outside the classroom is the key to learning to read, especially among girls, children living in poverty and those with few books or readers at home. Photo by Sanjana Shrestha.


Knowing the importance of practicing reading at home, Save the Children brought

Malawi Local Cuisine: Therere (Okra)

Nomsa Mkandawire

Mkandawire, Communications Officer


September 6, 2013

Therere (Okra)
is one of the easily available types of relish accessed by families in various
villages across Malawi. It is a local delicacy that is cherished by many. Most
men and women who live in the urban areas find themselves eating outside their homes
in search of this treat.


is normally eaten with Nsima/hard porridge (a staple food made from maize
flour). Usually, it is taken with no other relish.


The kind
of therere we are talking about here is one referred to in the local language
as Lokupa (sticky). To cook therere lokupa, the following are needed.


  • Pumpkin
    leaves (almost a basin full when not cut)
  • Bicarbonate
    soda/Baking soda (¼ teaspoon)
  • Salt
    (¼ teaspoon)
  • Tomato
    (2 large)
  • Okra
    (¼ basin)



clean the pumpkin leaves, making sure all unwanted particles are removed. There
may be some sand and other particles as the pumpkin leaves are directly taken
from the home garden.  Carefully cut the
Okra in even pieces small enought to make them easy to
cook. Clean the tomato and cut well.


Put water
(about ¼ of a cup) in a pot, add the salt and boil for about 3 minutes. Add the
bicarbonate soda, the Okra and pumpkin leaves and let them boil for 3 minutes
also, then add the tomato and keep stirring until all is mixed and cooked. This
should take less than 10 minutes.


with Nsima and enjoy Malawi’s delicacy!