Nominee: 

Osu Children's Library Fund, Ghana

Osu

Visit the project's website: Osu Children's Library Fund

Presentation of project

“Sharing the Joy of Reading with an African Child” has been Osu Children’s Library Fund’s (OCLF) motto since 1990. A motto that has led to a huge effort towards children from financially impoverished homes.

Children who are living in marginalized areas in Ghana rarely have access to books or even the desire to read. OCLF believes, if children are introduced to books at an early age and in a nurturing environment, they will develop beneficial life-long reading habits to explore and better understand their world. That is why OCLF provides books in child-friendly, stimulating libraries that are staffed by caring librarians. Some of the books are translated into local languages by the librarians, so that children with minimal English skills also get the possibility to read. The outreach includes theatre, creative writing, arts and crafts, and sporting events. Most Ghanaians associate books with academic learning. In contrast, OCLF offers appealing and culturally relevant books to spark a child’s imagination.

OCLF also offers scholarships that are given to deserving library members who otherwise could not continue their education. Furthermore, all libraries offer study areas with access to textbooks and reference books. Literacy classes at six libraries are also a part of the initiative.

Impact

OCLF’s eight libraries in the Greater Accra region recorded 275,312 visits in 2015. The majority of users were young children who travel by foot after school. Some learners have continued to formal educations, while others are content with achieving basic reading and writing skills. According to 56-year-old Mumuni, “I started the literacy class in June 2011. Back then, I could not spell my own name. Today, I can assure you that any time I go to the bank, I write the cheque by myself. That is a very good achievement.”