September 24, 2016; 8:43 pm
Growing up as a child, Hayford lived in several parts of Ghana because of his father’s job. In all these different communities he lived before completing basic schooling, only once did he have the opportunity to attend a library, in the capital of the Eastern Region of Ghana. He grew a love for reading, which eventually helped him venture into development work, where he continually encountered many children in rural communities who have no access to reading books other than their school notes. Many children as old as 18 years were illiterate. Indeed, in summer of 2011, while he was conducting interviews with villagers for some health-based field research, he came to understand the grave effect that a lack of literacy and a basic education has on a population’s health.
The misconceptions based on ignorance he witnessed were overwhelming and disheartening. This realization ultimately led to an in-depth understanding of some deeply rooted societal issues related to the lack of basic education. In August 2011, Hayford started a mobile library by collecting books from volunteers into his car trunk to make them available to children in rural villages. Working closely with communities, Hayford moved his car into communities inviting children to read. In early 2012, Street Library was selected in to the Reach for Change three-year incubation program where funding and technical support are provided to help early start-up child centered initiatives flourish. The Global Fund for Children has since also supported Street Library in diverse ways to increase it’s impact, footprint and growth. Many foundations and corporations have supported Street Library in diverse ways.