Tag Archives: Street children

Children's Corner a MYSA Library

December Book of the Month

Our December Book of the Month – and last of 2019 – is . . .

African Animals ABC
African Animals ABC donated by Letterbox Library


This beautiful board book, perfect for little hands, takes the reader on an alphabetical journey to meet 26 African animals from Antbear to Zebra.

Brought to life with bright, bold illustrations of each animal and decorated with African patterns, this is a book that young readers will love to pore over.

Additionally, the rhyming text will make it a popular and engaging choice for reading aloud:

Antbear naps,
Bushbaby blinks,
Crocodile snaps,
Dassie drinks.

This captivating introduction to the alphabet and African animals will be hugely popular with all children but it will be especially loved by those in African countries to whom many of these animals will be familiar.

Copies will soon be on their way to Sierra Leone where they’ll be used by one of our partners to introduce young street children to the joy of reading.


“Reading is my talent”

12-year-old Solomon lives with his family in Jamestown, one of the poorest districts of Accra, Ghana’s capital.

Five years ago, Solomon’s reading skills were limited but when he started reading books at Street Child Empowerment Foundation’s (SCEF) library in Jamestown, he discovered how fun reading was and now he’s the best reader in his class.

Here Solomon tells us more about the books you have helped to send:

Solomon reads to him mum


“I’m 12-years-old and I live with my mother and my two sisters.

For fun, I like cooking noodles and when I grow up I want to be a musician, playing the guitar!

Solomon reading in school


I’m in class 6 at school. I enjoy school because the things that the teacher teachers I enjoy. My favourite subject is natural science because I understand it completely.

I read after school every day.

I read after school every day. I like reading because it’s my talent. I’m the best in my class. In the school holidays I also go to the library.

My favourite book is The Scared Cat. I like it because the cat is always scared! When his friends are going, he’s scared. They went to take a mouse, he’s scared. Every time he’s scared! I have read it many times.

The books in SCEF’s library help me very much.

I come to the library if school have given me homework. I come to the library, collect that book and go to the homework club and write it. Our mothers, if they don’t have money they can’t buy us books. But here we have books to read.”

Reading for a better future

Victoria lives with her four children in Jamestown, one of the poorest districts of Accra, Ghana’s capital.

She works at the local market selling fish and kenkey but she has bigger hopes for her children.

Here she tells us about her youngest child, 12-year-old Solomon, who is excelling in school thanks to books you have helped us to send to our partner Street Children Empowerment Foundation’s (SCEF) library.

Victoria and Solomon
Many parents in Jamestown cannot afford to purchase books for their children


“My favourite thing about having children is just the joy they bring. That they call me ‘ma’.

Most of the parents in Jamestown don’t have money [for books]. If you don’t have the money it’s a challenge. So when children go to SCEF’s Learning Hub, there are books that Book Aid International sent to them, it exposes them to new things to learn.

I have seen a big change in Solomon since he’s been reading. At first, he didn’t really know how to read but now his reading has really improved.  Not only Solomon but his older sister too who also visits the Learning Hub.

I have seen a big change in Solomon since he’s been reading.

Without those books, I would try as much as possible to get books for my children to read – I can see that Solomon already has the head, the intelligence. I want him to be a doctor in the future. But he has a different idea!

Solomon reads to his mum
Solomon also borrows books from the library to read at home


Solomon goes [to the library] every day. Whenever there is a programme at school, they usually call him to speak as he is so fluent in his speech.

When he’s reading, I’m happy.

I’m really happy that Solomon is performing well at school. When he’s reading, I’m happy. It’s really necessary for children to have books to read for their future.”

“Reading is learning”

Fourteen-year-old Mary lives in Jamestown, one of the poorest districts in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.

Crime, illiteracy and teenage pregnancy are all too common in Jamestown and many children end up working on the streets to help their families make ends meet. But Mary is determined to build a brighter future.

Here 14 year old Mary shares how she is using books you help to send to achieve her dream:

Mary in school
Mary reads every day


I like going to school. I walk for an hour by myself to get there. I believe if I go to school, I will learn and I’ll know more.

And I want to know more because there is something I want to achieve in future – I want to become a lawyer.

But many girls in Jamestown don’t go to school. Those who are at home, they don’t learn. They will just walk around, not doing anything. At the end of the day you will see girls as young as 12 pregnant.


Mary reading with her family
Mary shares a book from her local library with her family

If I didn’t have books and the school gave me an assignment, I would be suffering.

Reading is learning – if you read, you know more words and you can learn.

And maybe if you don’t understand something, they will explain it in the reading book. So you need to read every day.

Thank you for the books and for the gift that you gave me. Books have the power to change our future.

Hear more from Mary in this short video:

Rita and family

Books keeping children off the streets

Rita lives with her four children in Jamestown, one of the poorest districts in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.

Rita and her children
Rita lives with her four children in a one-bedroom house in Jamestown

Crime, illiteracy and teenage pregnancy are all too common in Jamestown and many children end up working on the streets to help their families make ends meet.

Here Rita shares how books you help to send are helping her children to stay off the streets and dream of brighter futures:


“There are lots of challenges as a mother in Jamestown. It’s not safe here and especially not for children. But I have lived here all my life and I don’t have anywhere else to go.

To support my children I sell condensed milk toffee in the streets. I didn’t get the opportunity to go to school as a child – I can’t read or write.

That’s why I feel really happy when I see my 14 year old daughter Mary reading. She is very serious about her education, she walks on her own to school for an hour every day and always studies at home.

When I see Mary reading, it gives me hope that she won’t have the same future as me.

Mary reading at school
Rita’s daughter Mary is determined to work hard at school a secure a brighter future


Every day after school, Mary goes to the library run by local NGO Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF).

It’s really important for the children to have books. I just want them to have a better chance than me.

Since going to the library, Mary is more confident and can speak English really well. It makes me so happy. I really want her to be a prominent person in the future.

SCEF library
After school, Mary reads books you have helped to send at SCEF’s Library in Jamestown

I don’t have any money. I can’t buy books for my children. So I am so happy my children get to read books in the library.

Because of the library, my children, especially Mary, have a chance of having a brighter future.

I am told that all these new books at the SCEF library come from Book Aid International in the UK, and that people like you give their own money to help send them.

Thank you so much. you are helping my daughter Mary and other children here in Jamestown who could easily end up on the streets.

We want our children to go far and not be in this situation their whole life. They can achieve this through reading books.

Please keep helping Book Aid International to send more books!”