A Bright Future, As Shining Stars Reading Club Got Launched In Maamobi
There are certain days in a person’s life that are best described as “red letter days.” The happenings of such days will forever remain in the brain of the person and if possible find him or herself lowered into the grave with this memorable collection. One of such moments in my life is the day we helped launched an organization called Pathfinder Inspirational Foundation.
I was invited that day to speak to the numerous school children available on the importance of reading in their lives. The day coincided with the celebration of the formation of Organization of African Unity, now African Union. I therefore spiced up my speech, as brief and concise as it was, with the life of the greatest of all the African Unity trailblazers, the man who lived for reading and read, the man who ended one of his most powerful speeches with the statement “we must eliminate illiteracy completely from our midst.”
That day lingers in mind much-more due to the fact that I sat on the same table, and got a standing ovation from the Secretary-General of the Pan-African Writers Association, Prof. Atukwei Okai, a man who was made an Associate Member of Association of Nigerian Authors by no less a person as Chinua Achebe.
It was a spur and a great shot in the arm to pursue the honored life of active reading. What was even more important was the allusion I made to a statement he made at the Ghana Association of Writers Book Festival, 2016. He stressed on the fact that we have to inculcate strongly in the young ones, a profound reading spirit. This he believes will give the children a future. He stated that “and what we need to understand in this country is that the future of a child is the future of the country.” I state unequivocally that I saw that great future he dramatized when a reading club, Shining Stars Reading club was launched over the weekend at Maamobi, a suburb of Accra.
The smiles that characterized the faces of the children, the books that lined the venue for the launch, the passionate dispositions of all participants and the interestingly-appealing drama the children acted out to underscore the impact and value of reading in our lives surmise a great organization that will have a strong foundation and anchorage; and by tether, a great and positive future for the seemingly-accursed community and nation at large.
Shining Stars Reading club is an initiative of Bridging Families (an organization that aims at developing families) “to raise aspirations of the girl-child in the Nima-Maamobi community and also to educate parents and caregivers on how to support their daughters to maximize their potential. And they want to do this by enlarging the lens through which the children focus the world through reading. They resolve not only to stop at reading but to also put it into action by running workshops for children to discover themselves and maximize their potential.
How it all started
According to the Director of Bridging Families, Mrs. Amma Serwaa Frimpong, they saw the wonderful works that Achiever’s Ghana is doing in with our young girls in the Nima-Maamobi area. They were encouraged by the fact that, despite the overwhelming odds against the community, an organization is striving to give our young ones better lives and a honorable enlightenment. Bridging Families therefore came down to meet with the leader of Achiever’s Ghana, Mr. Mohammed Amadu to have a reading session with the children.
In her own words, she said “on the day we had the reading session with the girls, although it was intended for girls between the ages of 4-8 years, older girls joined in. The girls were so excited that they staged a play on early marriage and the effect on young girls. At the end of the day, we celebrated with cupcakes and juice after the hard work. Subsequently, Bridging Families in conjunction with Achievers Ghana decided to form the Shining Stars Reading Club. Assistance was sought from Redbridge Central Library and Hadleigh Junior Primary in the United Kingdom for donation of books. The response to this appeal was so overwhelming that family and friends helped to ship 47 boxes of books from the UK to Achievers Ghana.”
The passionate effort to help our young ones was made official and finally outdoored to the world on Saturday, 17th February, 2018.
As usual, the politicians were absent. I have stated that our politicians do not have the community at heart ad nauseam. And this always ruffles the feathers of their cronies and supporters. But this is the plain truth that we are stating. Their presence alone at such gatherings can be the spark that will start an inferno of tremendous productivity in our children. I have a firm belief that any politician worth his salt will have his ear on the ground to catch the news of every productive and community-enhancing programme within his jurisdiction and subsequently grace the occasion. Well, we do not have to cry as James Freeman Clarke has already told us that “a politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.”
It is in this vein that we tell Achievers Ghana not to waver in their resolve to better our community and inspire the next generation. This is a remarkable achievement for them and they should boldly claim and proclaim it. Shining Stars Reading Club is definitely here to stay. It will live to see its library replenished with more books, more computers fixed to keep its members abreast with the changing fortunes of time and much more significantly, impact the community and nation at large.
Our profound gratitude goes to Bridging Families. They have indeed sustained a bright future for us. They refused to curse the darkness, rather they lighted a candle. We will forever offer our gratitude since “gratitude is a continuous attitude and not an occasional accident.” And to the prayer of its director that “it is hoped that in future more opportunities will be created to maximize the potential of the girl-child in the Nima-Maamobi community”, we say a very big Amen.
NB: The Writer is Youth-Activist and a Student of Knowledge.