The internet has undoubtedly come to stay. Groundsweeping achievements have been recorded the world over since the advent of the business information highway from all corners of the world, in virtually every conceivable domain of endeavour.
Online fundraising has over the past few years become prominent among people seeking funding for social good. Africanews in late 2017 covered the story of a fundraiser for Somalia’s famed ambulance service – Aamin Ambulance.
In October 2018, Uganda’s biggest “wedding” – #TheKaBernz wedding was staged in order to raise funds for a lady to be able to pursue her dreams of higher education.
Over in Ghana, a pro-reading organization is on a mission to raise funds for a reading clinic. The project is to benefit students in one of the country’s deprived regions.
The African Youth Writers Organization, AYWO, said its effort is a step further after securing more reading time at the main library where these pupils often trek to go and access reading materials.
“The funky ReadWrite clinic is an innovative literacy mentorship program for children with learning difficulties and poor literacy skills from low-income communities in Northern Ghana, the first of its kind!
“Now in its 6th edition!, the funky ReadWrite clinic is looking to improve access and quality to more children with learning difficulties and poor reading / writing skills,” AYWO noted.
Its target is to raise £1,000 over the course of the year 2019 which amount it estimates will cater for “t-shirts, snacks, reading / writing materials, a safe space, arts / crafts and hold a ‘red carpet’ graduation ceremony for the kids to showcase their work to their community.”
AYWO’s story on deprived kids in northern Ghana
Some 60 teenagers gather at the Tamale children’s library on a Saturday just about a half hour before it closes. They had spent the morning journeying to get there to read, return and borrow books.
The library staff extend the hours for the tired teens most of whom walked the 15km journey from their village, through rice fields and irrigation canals in dry, dusty and blistering conditions.
About a year ago this would have been a futile effort; the teenagers could not string words to form a sentence. They just couldn’t read.
A new head teacher for their school, Gbulahagu L/A school, turned things around, he made every effort teaching them to read and they fell in love. But there was a snag; the school had no library and no books to fuel their growing love for reading.
The nearest library, the Tamale central library was impossible to visit on weekdays due to the school schedule, on weekends the library closes at 2pm, a lot too early for the children who walk for some 3 hours to get there.
Portia Derys African Youth Writers Organization helps pupils like these. By taking reading clinics to them and holding clinics at the library, the pupils get mentored and encouraged in their growing reading journey.
It was the AYWO that helped the pupils get extended hours at the library, this effort paid off as by the time I met the pupils they were on to read a class five English book, an unthinkable feat months earlier.
The pupils from Gbulahagu L/A school are not the only ones who benefit from the reading clinics and mentorship offered by the African Youth Writers Organization. Many more children are beneficiaries of this social enterprise, imparting reading skills and mentoring underprivileged, undeserved children.
Of the 8 JHS 3 pupils, 5 went on to Senior High School, 3 of them with scholarship. This paved the way for younger pupils to be inspired, to confidently hope to further their education and lift their families out of poverty. Its a new cycle of empowerment which will hopefully be sustained.
That’s why you should support African Youth Writers Organizations activities, particularly its new initiative the Funky Read Write clinic, without which many of these children would not dream of a secure future.