Ghanaian Librarian Honoured By Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, has recognised Ghanaian Librarian, Hayford Siaw, as the 15th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his exceptional voluntary service in combating illiteracy rates in Ghana.
In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on 19-20 April, the Queen - as Head of the Commonwealth - is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 52 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
Mr Siaw is the Founder of the first “Electronic Library On Wheels” in West Africa and the Chief Executive of the Ghana Library Authority.
The mobile library, which is active in more than 30 communities across the country, imparts more than 18,000 children a year via the vans computers, tablets and e-readers.
The personalised certificate, signed by the Queen was presented to Mr Siaw by the British High Commissioner, Mr Iain Walker.
An elated Mr Siaw said that the recognition had given him fulfilment.
“We usually have to apply for almost everything, and so it’s a great feeling not to apply for something but to be independently nominated and selected for this recognition,” he said.
He said that he had engaged in this endeavour with private funding for the past six years, but there was now the opportunity to do it for the nation, with the backing of the state, to impart as many people in Ghana as possible.
“I am deeply honoured and hope this will inspire many people around the commonwealth to be focused and diligent in delivering change in their communities. There is always someone out there watching and reading about your work,” he added.
Mr Walker urged the public to celebrate Mr Siaw’s success, and highlight what he had done because he was a source of inspiration and a role model for Ghana and the Commonwealth.
“Hayford Siaw started with just a car, some books and a big dream, to combat illiteracy rates among Ghanaian children with a mobile library,” he stated.
"In a short time, Hayford has shown how sheer determination allied with a passion for volunteering can make a lasting difference across communities.
“I am delighted that he is educating the next generation of young people."
The point of light awards recognises outstanding volunteers every day of the week, people whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to create innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond.
Since 2014, the UK has been recognising a daily point of light from the UK with almost 900 now recognised.