HIHFL promotes literacy in the U.S. and abroad by bringing books to communities who have none. Improving lives one library at a time.

The first time I experienced the face of what is described as a "reading famine" was in Ghana, Africa in 2007. I worked as a volunteer teacher in a small rural community. Upon my arrival at the schools, I was shocked by the absence of books not only in the schools, but the entire village as well. I was also astounded by the importance the community placed on the education of their children and how hungry these children were to learn. For those living in poverty, education is the key to a better life.

My decision to build a library in this community started with one simple question from a 12 year old boy. "Please Madam Deb, is there any way you could send me just one book to help me reach my dream of becoming a doctor?" It seemed like such a simple request. Then I thought about all of the other children I had worked with in the village who had dreams just like Emmanuel. And just like him, they were all without a book. Funds were raised, books were collected and the library construction was completed by many volunteers. The Senchi Ferry library opened in January 2011. Currently more than 1,000 children use the library each week.

Hand In Hand For Literacy was born out of a desire to continue bringing the joy of reading to children who have never had the opportunity to hold a book. We believe that world change begins with educated children, which is why Challenging Heights School has been chosen for our current project. CH is a children's rights organization in Ghana, that rescues, rehabilitates and educates victims of child slavery, as well as those at-risk of child trafficking. The school currently has 700 students and currently has no books. For more information about this project please visit: www.handinhandforliteracy.org

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