Back in May we blogged about an up and coming trip for a member of the Conker House team to Ghana to see the benefits and impact of ProjectKALA, an initiative run by The Pelican Post to improve access to native languages in African countries. The year then ran away with us somewhat, but it never seems too late to fill you in on a very heartwarming and rewarding trip.
The two volunteers from The Pelican Post were hosted by The Sabre Trust, a partner charity who have been instrumental in distributing the bilingual editions (Fante and English) throughout schools in the Elmina District of Ghana. They helped coordinate trips to schools that were enjoying the Fante-English edition of Handa’s Surprise.
Storytelling is a real art form in Ghanaian schools. The teacher puts on a storytelling crown and gown while the children all gather round in a circle. “Story time, happy time!” they all say. As you can see here, it’s highly interactive and a real joy to witness:
And now we all know that <banana> in Fante is <mpuwa>!
Later in the week, I have to confess to a slight tear in my eye as we witnessed an outdoor storytelling session, with children acting out the events of the book and the teacher clearly delighting in having the full Fante version to read from.
The Pelican Post team had definitely had moments of despair as we battled through translation quandaries, shipping challenges and rallied round to reach our fundraising target. However, seeing the huge impact that the translation was having on the children and teachers alike really made it feel worthwhile. A huge thank you to The Sabre Trust for their support throughout the project and for making the trip to Ghana such a great success, to Walker Books for their collaboration, and to all the supporters of The Pelican Post who made ProjectKALA possible.
And simply because it’s wonderful to watch, here they are dancing to end the session – I challenge you to watch this without a smile on your face!