Saturday, March 14, 2009

Local Students work to Raise Money to Build Library in Africa

Sponsors Coffee-Houses to Support the Cause

Four years ago 14 families from Umuaka, Nigeria living in metropolitan Atlanta started raising money to build a library in their town so residents and young students especially could have a community facility to help support their education and increase literacy rates. This year a local youth organization challenged its members to choose and implement a community service project.

A youth member aware of the acute need for literacy in Umuaka, Nigeria suggested that her group raise money to help fund a project to build and equip a community library. It is a large town of 10 villages, 10 elementary schools and two high schools that has no community library. Consequently, illiteracy is a major problem in the region.

Fayette County High School senior, Ogechi Oparah, visited the town in 2004 and attended classes at the girls high school; says of the education system, “There is so much that needs to be done, and so much that can be done for the residents in Umuaka. I think as youth, it is our job to help encourage change for our generation, and building literacy is one way for us to do it.” She added, “Teens are often given a bad rap, however there are many youth in the Fayette community involved in very positive activities and I want our elders to see the capability and power of young people with a mission”.

Ogechi, a member of the Association of Village PRIDE, Inc. presented her idea to fellow students who joined in on the project. Together, the students from four different local high schools have set a goal to raise $10,000 by August, 2009. The students have scheduled four local coffeehouse events to raise awareness about the literacy needs in Africa and to raise money for the project. The first coffeehouse will be held on March 28, 2009 from 7-9:00 pm at the Fayette Family YMCA. Tickets are available at the Fayetteville Public Library.

This literacy project is youth driven and youth coordinated. The coffeehouse will feature local youth talent performing in drama, poetry readings, voice, instrumental music, dance, and more. The youth are also soliciting donations from local businesses to be used in a silent auction. The admission to the coffeehouse is $5.00 with a new or used book or $7.00 without a book.

The students are soliciting individual and group donations. Depending on the amount of the donations, donors’ names will be placed on group plaques and individual plaques to be displayed in the library once it is completed. Students are seeking help from local businesses, youth leadership and volunteer organizations, churches and other faith-based organizations. They have developed a website where interested people can get additional information or donate. Students also set up different groups on how to get involved through social networks sites.
Contributions for this project are tax-deductible because of the non-profit nature of the sponsoring organization, Association of Village PRIDE, Inc.

For information on school representatives, how to perform at the coffeehouse, how to volunteer, or how to donate you can send an email to or visit the website at
Fayette Front Page
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

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