BY Oluwatosin Areo
Education With Purpose (EWP), an organisation that promotes purposeful living and actualisation through quality education, have donated 200 new books and a library to a valley community basic school in Ghana to boost their access to qualitative and quantitative educational materials, mental development and academic performance.
Members of the Ghanaian community, Prestea-Huni Valley, Yareyeya, in the Western Region, received the library donated to them during the yuletide.
For the first time, the Ghanaian community, which is about five hours’ drive from Tarkwa, got 200 books for the Yareyeya Primary and Junior High Secondary (J.H.S) school library.
EWP executed this project under its Africa Rural Educational Outreach (AREO) in partnership with Addline Foundation, Bold Mind Entertainment and Diamond Writes.
Founder of EWP, Gbenga Oyewole, said the desire to be a change agent and create avenues for students’ growth was divinely orchestrated. According to him, Africa Rural Educational Outreach (AREO) under EWP, is aimed at donating new and fairly used books to students across rural settlements on the continent, thereby bridging the gap between the haves and haves not.
This, Oyewole said, is in tandem to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4, which is Quality Education. “EWP began with a team of seven in July 2017 and aimed at raising a purpose-driven generation in sync with education. In this line, we have been able to set up libraries with relevant books and create mentorship programmes with students across rural areas as we are poised to do more for Africa.
“The journey that seemed insignificant is what brought us here today. We have stayed on the path of influencing teenagers positively for the past two years and we will keep at it to achieve our goals,” Oyewole added.
On the impact of the initiative, he said past programmes had helped to re-engineer learning and sensitise teachers and parents to the myriad of opportunities that quality education provides.
He said: “Till date, many rural communities lack basic educational facilities like well-equipped classrooms, library and teachers.” Harping on the need for education to go beyond the classrooms and the curricula, the founder said it should be geared towards the development of a child’s innate abilities to actualise God-given purposes.
Lauding efforts of the team players in making the project a success, he said the partnership is key to fostering development. “We press towards achieving more strides and we are ready to partner with interested persons or organisations,” he added.
The Western Region Librarian, Mr. Philip Asamoah, while appreciating efforts of the organisations, said education is the bedrock for speedy development of any community, and that education could not be total without appropriate and adequate teaching and learning materials.
“I do believe that this library will make it easier for students of this community to compete globally. We will ensure that the library is more enticing with paintings and furniture. We appreciate EWP and Addline Foundation for this initiative and will see to it that the library is properly used by cultivating a sustainable reading culture,” he added.
In furtherance of the initiative, Asamoah said with the support of good Nigerians and the foundations involved, more of such projects could be replicated in neighbouring rural communities, which desperately need qualitative instructional materials.“Plans are on-going to push this project to other communities in the region,” he added.
Co-founder, EWP and author, Oladimeji Sodeke, said humanity is the best investment one could ever venture into for the communities to thrive.
Sodeke stated that EWP was a result of a sincere desire to positively influence the world and Africa in particular.
Speaking at the library launch, he said: “The commissioning of this library is dedicated to everyone who contributed to its success. It will be absurd to think one can do this alone. We call for everyone to join this train that is geared towards the change we long for.
The co-founder, who paid a visit to the community in February last year, added that the community welcomed the development and named him Okukudurofo de Gyata (For he who fears nothing) and “The high chief who brings development.”
“EWP is all about humanity, purpose and positive change,” he added.
EWP Ghana Coordinator and founder, Addline Foundation, Emmanuel Addai, said he was a student from the school and had decided to give back to the community.
“I noticed lapses in the educational standards of the community and have decided to take the right step in changing the narrative. Literacy is germane, and education needs not be imparted in just schools. Books should be part of the environment a child grows up in,” he said.
Addai urged parents and teachers to take the library as their own and encourage their children to read.
Chief of the Yareyaya community, Nkansah Bismarck, lauded efforts of the group for rejuvenating the pursuit of quality education in the community.
Also present at the launch were Library Assistance, Tarkwa Library, Eunice Prabeng; Assistant Ghana Coordinator, EWP, Suleiman Iddrisu Michael; Headmaster of the school, Mohammed Musah; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bold Mind Entertainment, Olayinka Ogunbiyi; Project Head, AREO Project, Oluwatosin Areo, teachers, parents and students of the school.