What does a book mean to you?

The right to literacy and the right to education should be fundamental pillars for every society. Books represent many things, but at their core, they’re a powerful medium for education and the growth and distribution of knowledge. Education is the most influential weapon against poverty and inequality, and books play a key role in educating, particularly in poorer, third world countries where access to the Internet is not viable. The #ABookMeans Campaign is an initiative started by the Projects Abroad Human rights Office which aims to raise money for The Reconstruction Project to supply books to impoverished schools in the Old Fadama slum in Ghana.

This video was produced by volunteers in Ghana and aims to showcase the meaning that a book brings into a person’s life and the significant social change it affects. A book means knowledge, imagination, truth, beauty, escape, and love. For the children of Ghana, a book means hope and the opportunity to lift themselves out of their current circumstances, allowing them to reclaim their right to dream and to become functional and productive members of society.

Located in the north west of Accra’s CBD, Agbogbloshie, more commonly known as ‘Old Fadama’, currently houses over 100,000 people who inhabit a sprawling slum that spans four acres. Here, life is incredibly hard. Perceived as illegal squatters, the government will not provide the residents with any basic services and the twelve schools in the area are all appallingly under-resourced with next to no furniture and very little in the way of stationary and books.

There is also a significant lack of adequate sanitation and health measures, which makes the schools’ situation even direr. PAHO is running numerous projects in the slum, including a weekly ‘slum school’ to educate children regarding their basic human rights. However, in order for the children to be properly educated, resources are required. Hence, the #ABookMeans campaign which is the first step in outfitting the schools with the educational tools they desperately require.

People have the opportunity to make a difference by donating money for books through JustGiving, a secure channel which sends all donations directly to the UK charity, The Reconstruction Project. Your donations will give the children of the Old Fadama Slum the chance to defeat poverty and change their lives. Every child has the right to education, and together, we can make these children believe that they have a bright and positive future.  For these children, a book means a chance to envision life beyond the slums – a new world of possibility and self-worth.