USAID/Funded Soma Umenye Activity



SOMA UMENYE is a comprehensive program of support to produce significant gains in early literacy. The Government of Rwanda affirms the need for all Rwandan children to develop basic Kinyarwanda reading skills in the first years of primary school. Reading sets a foundation for the success in school necessary for Rwanda to attain middle income country status by 2020.

Soma Umenye (Read and Learn) is designed to assist the Ministry of Education to implement an intensive and comprehensive program of support that will produce significant gains in early literacy.


The project aims to improve student reading by:

  • Improving quality of classroom instruction at the primary level through the application of teacher and student performance standards, and the implementation of an evidence-based in-service training and coaching program
  • Strengthening the pre-service teacher training program
  • Increasing availability and use of evidence-based and gender -sensitive early-grade reading materials
  • Strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Education and University of Rwanda to conduct and apply research, and lead the reading reform process


  • Improved reading skills in Kinyarwanda for at least 1 million children in public and government aided schools in Rwanda
  • At least 70% of primary grade 1-3 students able to read grade-level text with fluency and comprehension


  • Project Dates: 2016-2021
  • USAID Funding: $72,500,000
  • Implementing Partner: Chemonics
  • Geographic Focus: National
  • Physical Address: Umuyenzi Plaza, 2nd Floor KN 5 Rd Rukiri Cell, Remera Sector, Gasabo District, Kigali, Rwanda
  • Began work in Rwanda in year: 2016

Organization Leadership :

Educational Activities:

  • Teacher training (All Districts)
  • Capacity building (All Districts)
  • Leadership/management (All Districts)
  • Resources & equipment (All Districts) (teaching/learning materials for early grade reading)