Project information

Facilitating Local Language Literacy in Africa

Throughout Africa, local languages are still taught in schools as a child's first language. However a lack of reading materials means many children are unable to read their native tongue. Our literacy goal is to print & distribute appropriate stories in dual language to schools in Ghana & Ethiopia.

September 2015 - June 2016

Charity information

The Pelican Post

The Pelican Post logo
  • Need


    Children's mother tongues are fragile and easily lost in early years at school. A lack of appropriate reading materials in African schools means that many children are not able to read or write in their own language. As a result, the ability to pass on a region or even nation's heritage, culture and identify to future generations is dramatically being lost. If children feel that their cultural /linguistic identity is not valued, then they are also less likely to be active and confident learners


    With support from leading international publishers, our aim is to readdress this imbalance by printing in dual language appropriate children's fiction for distribution to partnering schools in Ghana & following its success run a similar project in Ethiopia.
    "There are almost no Fante early readers in the education system. This project will therefore have a huge impact and make a big & immediate difference to learning in our schools." Municipal Director, KEEA District, Ghana Education Service

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Translate, print and distribute 2000 copies per print run to participating schools in Africa


    » -translate appropriate African early reader story previously published in English into Fante in Ghana.
    » Arrange reprint of 2000 copies (per print run) in dual language form (English and local language) with partnering publisher.
    » Arrange shipment with partnering shipper to relevant destination. On arrival, books distributed to identified schools within 'local language" region.

    Successful delivery of books to participating schools. E.g. in Ghana, 1 print run would impact 124 primary schools & 22,000 children in the Fante speaking Central Region alone.

    Aim 2

    Monitor & report on progress of reading initiatives following introduction of story books in classes


    » teacher training initiatives associated with each early reader title have been developed to measure child comprehension and literacy advancement.

    Documented evidence through recording and reporting demonstrates marked improvements in reading comprehension compared to 'control' schools not participating in programme.

  • Impact


    The project will reverse the decline in number of children able to read in their native language and build child self-confidence and communication. We will demonstrate the success of this project by monitoring key literacy and child development indicators across participating schools as well as more qualitative analysis of sample schools. Success will be defined by assessing local language literacy uptake of participating schools compared to the national average.


    Key risks focus around the logistics of delivery of shipment to Ghana and failure to distribute the books. To this end a project timetable & risk assessment plan has been developed to identify key stakeholders, potential obstacles, and measures to mitigate them. This has included identifying a reliable shipping partner, liaising with the local charity partners and the Ghanaian Education Service to waive tax import duty and to ensure safe transition at customs and suitable resources to deliver.


    Donors will be updated by various means. We will provide regular newsletters and updates charting progress of project goals as well as via social media. Once books have been delivered, information will be collated from participating schools, analysed and formal report issued detailing results.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £750 translation translation, proof reading and associated type setting costs
      £2,000 printing to print min 2000 copies depending on print run
      £1,500 shipping arrangemnt fees with partnering shippper
      £1,500 travel project manager flight x2 and accom arrangements
      £1,750 project managment costs for implementing and monitoring project performance
      £500 administration associated administration costs
  • Background


    The Central Region is located in south Ghana to the west of the capital Accra and it is one of ten administrative regions. Approximately 2.5 million Ghanaians speak Fante with the vast majority living in the Central Region. Key activities in the area include mining, fishing and tourism. Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle are prominent UNESCO World Heritage Sites and serve as a reminder of the slave trade. Although predominantly rural the area has good infrastructure links with the capital.


    The impact is far reaching and immediate. Supplying 2000 copies of an early reader story in dual language (Fante and English) to 124 schools in the central region of Ghana will be the first book they have received in their mother tongue. This will enable 11,362 boys and 11,052 girls the opportunity to learn to read in their native language = a total of 22,414 children. it will also enable children to re-engage with their wider family unit and foster closer identity ties with older generations.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Pelican Post is unique in terms of its focus on tacking issues surrounding themes of childhood illiteracy and education inequality. The charity's sole purpose is to raise awareness as to the significance and irreplaceable value of utilising appropriate children's fiction into education programmes. This not only directly and positively impacts literacy uptake but also fundamentally shapes a child's imagination, cognitive skills, confidence, aspirations and sense of self worth.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nick Johnson

    Founding Director Nick is assigned Project Director and has overall responsibility for delivery of project aims and objectives and allocating resource

    Louisa Bello

    Cambridge accredited ESL Professional and teacher Louisa is responsible for co-coordinating project stakeholders and for delivery of teacher training.

    Ben Goodenough

    Linguists specialist and teacher Ben is responsible for defining key measurable, project sampling and co-ordinating monitoring effort

    Emma Parkin

    Emma is Chief Project Manager and is responsible for preparing project programme, communication and & administration and coordinating marketing and PR

What is very appealing about the Pelican Post is that I think it is rather nice for children to be able to read stories that they can identify with.”

Alexander McCall Smith