Donated books offer lockdown learning in Ghana

15th December 2020 | News

In Ghana, Covid-19 forced the schools to close in March – and in Ghana’s Upper East Region, they remain shut.

58% of local people live in poverty and most families cannot afford to buy books. So when schools closed, children had no opportunity to read, leaving them at risk of illiteracy and putting their futures at risk. But thanks to a partnership between UK charities Book Aid International and AfriKids, 10,000 local pupils have the chance to read and learn outside the classroom.   

AfriKids, a UK charity which works in Northern Ghana, began community-based classes using the books provided by Book Aid International several weeks ago, and today the team launched a new mobile library to reach over 10,000 pupils from 80 schools across the region.  

Raymond Ayinne, from AfriKids Ghana explained the role of the classes and the library, saying: “Our community classes aim to leave no child behind. Most communities are without basic amenities like electricity which is critical to power their radio and television sets so they can’t join the several online learning opportunities funded by the government. For most of these children in rural, remote and deprived communities, their only chance of learning are these classes, which serve more than 200 communities. Our mobile libraries project in partnership with Book Aid International, will deliver essential books and to make learning even more fun.” 

Our community classes aim to leave no child behind.

AfriKids have launched a new mobile library to reach over 10,000 pupils from 80 schools across the region. 

AfriKids Chief Executive, Charlie Hay, spoke of the classes, saying: “When schools closed, we set up community-based classes for continued, safe learning for vulnerable children. The books from Book Aid International will support teachers and volunteers who are doing a fantastic job with very little to work with at the moment, and help more children discover a love of reading.”  

The books help more children descover a love of reading.

Book Aid International has provided over 34,000 brand new books to AfiKids since 2018 and trained teacher librarians in how to use those books to enrich classroom learning. All of these books were donated to Book Aid International by UK publishers and they include children’s books full of colourful pictures to help ignite young readers’ excitement and phonics books to help children begin to learn to read. 

Students and staff queue to see books in the mobile library

Book Aid International Chief Executive Alison Tweed commented on AfriKids work in Ghana and the importance of the books publishers donate saying: “We are committed to providing the books that children around the world need to continue learning during the Covid crisis, so it is wonderful to see that AfriKids has been able to take these books out of the classroom and put them in the hands of children who would otherwise spend lockdown without any opportunity to read. We know that books are needed now more than ever to support education – and I warmly thank the publishers who donate these books to us and the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for making this project possible.” 

We are committed to providing the books that children need to continue learning.

Book Aid International has also donated a further 10,000 brand new books to AfriKids in 2020 so that the charity can continue establishing school libraries once schools re-open. The ongoing partnership between the charities is made possible by the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Players support both Book Aid International and AfriKids, providing to date a total of over £4,300,000 in funding to both charities since 2014.