A VILLAGE LIBRARY
Our library in Assin Adadientem, Ghana, has already had an amazing impact on the lives of the villagers of the area. Our library serves individuals from 30 small villages of the region, most of whom had never even seen a book before the library was built!
Before the library was built, the local school children had no access to books, and yet were required to pass the same exams to advance through grade levels as children attending schools in more prosperous areas who had the benefit of books and other learning materials. The percentage of students from Assin Adadientem who were able to pass the exams was very low, with only between three and five students being able to pass and move on to High School level schools each year. The first year, with the infusion of books from our library, thirty students were able to pass their exams! The teachers credit this dramatic 60% increase to having access to books from our library.
Not only children are benefitting from our library. Between sixty and one hundred adults are using the library's resources to learn to read, opening new horizons and possibilities for them as well.
Our library has been a wonderful community resource. However, there is still more to be done. Finishing and weather proofing for the building are still needed as well as flooring and some interior paint. One of the biggest needs is for desks so that the villagers can come and have a place to sit and study all of our amazing books! Join with us and help this library to become and even more powerful influence for good by making a donation.
How our Library Began
"When Mark and I visited the village of Assin Adadientem in 2013, the one thing the village chief wanted more than anything was to have a way to give the children of his village access to books. He knew that if the children of the region had the benefit of books, many more of them would be able to reach their educational goals. Nurturing Nations decided to take on this project to help the chief and the villagers obtain their dream of having a library in their village.
Donations were gathered and volunteers from the region's villages began the construction of the library with great eagerness, digging the foundation out by hand. Materials were supplied by donations through Nurturing Nations, but the construction of the library was undertaken by the villagers, inspiring ownership and pride for this new community resource. Because of the library being built the government ran electricity to the village for the first time.
When the library structure was completed, we ran into an unexpected struggle; how to get books into our library. As they say in Ghana, they are experiencing a "book famine." Very few books are available to purchase in the country, and are usually extremely expensive. We began to look into a way to get books from here in the United States, where books are plentiful and easy to obtain, to our village library where they were so needed. Our friends Susy Yamada and Sarah Arikian came to our aid, coordinating a massive book drive in New York City and arranging for the books to be shipped by boat to Ghana. We have these two ladies to thank for the first books we had in our library, an amazing thirty-two boxes of life-changing educational resources.
Upon completion we held a celebratory "handing-over" ceremony where we gave the library officially to the villagers of the Assin Adadientem area."