Education  Ghana Project #29847

Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans

by The African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Bring innovative libraries to 100,000 Africans
Reading & writing session w/ Neemat and Almajiris
Reading & writing session w/ Neemat and Almajiris

Neemat is the head librarian of the City Library in Abuja, Nigeria, where every day she would see children in the streets walking barefoot under the sun and hoping for someone to offer a Naira note. With few options open to them, many are lured into a life of petty crime. However, as a librarian and a member of her community, Neemat knew that these children and youth, known as Almajiris, had the potential to achieve much more than anyone, or even they themselves believed, if only given the chance.

Neemat recognized that her role as a librarian demanded that beyond just acknowledging the problem, she had to develop a solution. Joining AfLIA’s INELI-SSAf training in 2016 taught her that libraries can become engines of development for their communities and the whole of Africa. She developed skills to assess the needs of her community and innovate solutions and new ways to serve people.

Neemat knew that Almajiris in her community needed attention, and she developed a program that provides opportunities and basic liberties that Almajiris didn’t have access to while living in the streets, such as literacy training, art, and drama. The program is helping Alamajiris realize their own potential through activities that allow them to practice their talents, discover new skills, and express themselves in new and creative mediums. INELI-SSAf helped her concretize this solution and pilot the program with 20 Almajiris in Abuja in year 2017.

Through the program, the Almajiris of the first pilot are learning to dream and believe in themselves again, with some even re-enrolling in schools. Muazu is 21 years old and has dreamt of becoming the Nigerian President. He received a scholarship from a member of the community and is now enrolled in Senior Secondary School at Government Secondary School, Tundun Wada. Muazu grew up in the streets, and today, he hopes to provide the same hope and opportunities to other Almajiris like him; he says “I believe one can always achieve what you want through hard work and if given the right opportunity at the appropriate time.” Neemat is committed to reaching more Almajiris in Nigeria. INELI-SSAf’s training helped her develop a campaign to expand the program to other areas.

Neemat is one of INELI-SSAf’s 32 librarians who will graduate this May 2018. Because of your generosity, they have enhanced their skills and gained a new mindset to reinvent their roles as innovators that solve critical issues and change the lives of hundreds and thousands. We are grateful for your support, and we hope you continue to support us as we welcome a new cohort of librarians that will help us bring innovative literacy and educational programs to more children in Africa!

Almajiris displaying their artwork
Almajiris displaying their artwork
Almajiris using the Kindle for educational videos
Almajiris using the Kindle for educational videos
Muazu reading for fellow Almajiris
Muazu reading for fellow Almajiris
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Libraries as spaces to enjoy learning with peers
Libraries as spaces to enjoy learning with peers

Antonetta, who works at Zimbabwe’s Bulawayo Municipal Library Services system, believes in the transformative power of libraries. If she didn’t, she would have never made a commitment to change people’s lives through them. Yet, she struggled to provide the learning opportunities that libraries should be able to offer communities. Aside from being underresourced and understaffed, librarians, like Antonetta, lacked the support and inspiration to explore new ways they could meet their communities' needs.  

In the face of these challenges, Antonetta attended AfLIA’s INELI-SSAf training on data-driven decision making, project planning and implementation, change management, and other topics necessary for librarians to create innovative programs that truly engage community members. Among other things, the training helped her build relationships with a network of other African librarians, partner with other organizations, and measure impact.

Today, Antonetta helps run the Open Door Children initiative, created by Book Aid International. The program teaches individuals, communities, and families the value of reading in establishing a lifelong learning path, especially in areas where books are scarce. It has also created vibrant library environments for the youth, where they can learn and play with peers. 

Through the efforts of Antonetta and other AfLIA-trained librarians, libraries become more involved in improving not only the literacy of library users, but their lives. This is opening more doors for library users, and contributing to the overall development of Sub-Saharan Africa’s communities.

Thank you for supporting our cause and helping us enable librarians to transform their libraries. We look forward to seeing what more we can do with your generous help.   

Children and librarians learning together
Children and librarians learning together
Libraries as safe spaces for children's learning
Libraries as safe spaces for children's learning
Children enjoying the opportunity to read
Children enjoying the opportunity to read
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Organization Information

The African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA

Location: Accra - Ghana
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @#aflia
Project Leader:
Helena Asamoah-Hassan
Accra, Ghana
$20,777 raised of $50,000 goal
 
247 donations
$29,223 to go
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