September 12, 2016; 7:44 pm
All children in Africa have equal access to literacy, educational and cultural resources.
To respond to educational needs of vulnerable children in Africa by providing sustainable literacy, cultural resources and personal development.
Problem we are working to solve
At 74% (GHPC, 2010), Ghana’s youth literacy rate is gravely low compared to the global average of 84% (CIA World Factbook). This is due to strained local libraries (263 libraries each serving approx. 95k users) and a stressed school system, where only 3 books are available per child (Ghana MoE, 2010-11). Compared to the USA where 120k public libraries serve 2.6k people each (ALA) and the book: student ratio in schools is 19:1 this is a staggering deficit, with 63M books needed to close the gap. In addition, over 20% of African children are out school and in Ghana it is over 400,000 (UNICEF, 2010).
The Mobile Library – a van stocked with literacy resources – makes weekly trips to remote rural communities and educationally vulnerable youth. The children self-educate by browsing the collection and engage in student-centered leaning to improve their general literacy. Mentoring programs also run from the location, aided by local volunteer community members. Our Book Chest supports training these volunteers through developing teacher activity manuals, accompanying the weekly boxed reading and study materials. This helps address the lack of schools and teachers in economically-challenged areas and involves the community to encourage learning. The Street Library App focuses on digitally recording, sharing and preserving valuable oral histories in the form of stories, memories and local tales. Due to the low literacy rate, these significant cultural narratives cannot be written, so face the risk of being lost forever. This project is also being implemented in Liberia, Mozambique and Cameroon.