As the holidays come to a close, children across the world are returning to school. For too many of them, there will be no books in school and learning will be a struggle. But thanks to supporters like you, that won’t be the case for pupils at 75 schools in Ghana: their schools will be filled with brand new children’s books.
We caught up with Linda, the Early Years Project Coordinator at our partner AfriKids, to find out more about the difference the books you help to send are making for these children.
AfriKids works in communities in the three northern regions of Ghana. In these rural communities more than half of families live in poverty. Our work is centred on three key areas; education, child protection and health.
With regards to education, the challenges these communities face include schools being so far away that it is difficult for young children to commute to school alone, schools having an inadequate number of age-appropriate children’s books and a shortage of teachers. So our work in education is geared towards ensuring vulnerable children in these communities are able to access and complete quality education.
As part of this, we are using books donated by Book Aid International to support our early years project in 72 schools in the Sisaala East, Sisaala West and Zebilla districts to improve pupils’ reading skills.
The books have enabled us to set up mini libraries in 45 of these schools. Pupils can now borrow books to read. Before, these schools didn’t have reading books.
The best you could get was a few text books which had to be shared by several pupils and in some cases only the teacher had a text book. Now, children who previously had no access to books can now practise reading and discover enriching stories.
The books donated by Book Aid International have enhanced teaching and learning in the schools.
Some of the books are essential for teachers to deliver lessons and without them it would be difficult for them to teach effectively.
These mini libraries are helping to improve the reading skills of the pupils – their performance has improved as a result of reading more. Also, activities like reading competitions in the schools increased pupils’ interest in reading and learning. They are also now reading these books at home and this prevents them from engaging in dangerous activities.
Without the books from Book Aid International, thousands of pupils wouldn’t have access to story books and the chance to enhance their reading skills.
Our hope is that the children have access to education and health for a good future. Education holds the key to development to break the cycle of poverty.
Book Aid International and AfriKids would like to extend a special thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their continued support and making this partnership possible.
Photos © AfriKids