As written by Caitlin Cardinell
On Friday, October 11th, commencing at 9 a.m., parents, chiefs, community members, and over 600 children from community of Nyanoa and schools in its environs, including Standard Foundation, Nyanoa Methodist Primary /Junior High School, and Good Shepherd Basic all gathered at the villagecenter to celebrate the launch of the Street Library project in their community.
Mr. Hayford Siaw, founder of Street Library delivered the welcoming address. He highlighted the importance of reading and inspiring children to develop a passion for literature, expressing his delight to spread Street Library to the Nyanoa community. He also noted the importance of that day as not only being the launch of Street Library, but that of the second Annual UN proclaimed International Day for the Girl Child. This year, the day aimed to draw attention to “innovating for girls’ education”. This theme tied in perfectly with our launch, and Mr. Siaw called upon girls from Nyanoa to share songs, poems, and their dreams in front of the crowd. Mr. Siaw finally recognised Tigo, a local telecom company, as one of Street Library’ssupporting sponsors, and described the role they have played in supporting the Ghana Street Library Project. In 2012, Street Library Ghana was selected by Reach For Change and Tigo to be part of a three-year incubation period, which supports the Street Library Project with technical and financial support.
Tigo Ghana brought along a team of almost 40 employees led by CSR Manager Deborah Akakpo.Each volunteer was stationed at a table with no less than ten children, and were given the task of conducting literacy assessments and registering the children for the Street Library program. After the hard work was completed, they were able to engage the children in fun reading activities for all levels of literacy including word searches, spelling games, and word matching. When asked why reading is important, Supervisor Nathacia of Tigo responded, “Reading equals knowledge. When you read, you can use that knowledge to move about in everyday life. That will lead to progress in your life.”
Chiefs and the Nyanoa Street Library Management Committee members Maxwell Arhin and Benjamine Amoako took turns to express their immense gratitude for the opportunity of having Street Library in Nyanoa and pledged to work to raise funds and resources within the community to keep Street Library thriving. When asked by a Street library would be beneficial in Nyanoa, Mr Amoako replied, “Due to the high level of poverty, most parents are unable to afford reading books for their children. So the Street Library will enable these unfortunate children to have access to reading materials”
Near the end of the event at around 2pm, members of local and national media gathered to capture the end of ceremony prayer and presentation of the Street Library book chest, containing a variety of children’s reading books.
The Street Library will be self-sustaining in the community, with volunteers (Community Program Officers) opening the Street Library in an appropriate space at least two times a week, providing a calm and safe atmosphere where children can feel comfortable learning and improving their reading skills. Street Library conducts constant monitoring and quarterly impact assessment across communities it operates. Street Library is supported by The Global Fund for Children, Reach for Change and Tigo.