Posted at: 09/30/2013 6:28 PM
By: Dan Conradt
Local Rotarians Taking Gift To Ghana
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- There are many things we can do to help people who are bound by the chains of poverty, but one local group is breaking down borders and giving a gift, half a world away, that is truly priceless.
They just want to grow up and provide for their families," said the Austin Rotary Club’s Kathy Stutzman.
And that's the goal of a group called "Street Girls Aid".
"They work with the 58,000 street girls who live, work and sleep on the streets of Ghana" Kathy Stutzman explained.
Most of the girls live in the capitol of Accra ... a city of four million people.
"And the girls were very clear that they wanted better for their children," said the Rotary Club’s Kathy Stutzman.
“And reading certainly does that, of course," said Austin Rotary Club President Scott Anderson.
So when a group of local Rotarians returns to Ghana in January, it will be to set up structures called “Little Free Libraries." They look like big bird houses.
"They're just little tiny like book cases, and the women get to use the books and read," the Rotary Club’s Scott Anderson explained.
The focus will be installing the little libraries in places called "creches". They're early-childhood development centers where the teenagers who live on the streets ... many of them already mothers themselves ... can leave their children while they're working in the vocations they've learned through Street Girls Aid.
"There may be hundreds of children and only four or five staff. but these children are kept off the streets and they're safe," Kathy Stutzman told us.
Volunteers who will be making the trip will teach the girls how to *build* the little free libraries.
"Then we are going to be bringing books that are culturally inclusive ... children who can see themselves in these books," said Kathy Stutzman.
“We have a representative from little free libraries who will be teaching the girls to become stewards ... librarians."
Because the first step out of poverty is knowledge.
"The girls who are on the street ... those 14, those 15 year old, they have the same hopes and dreams that my daughters have," said the Rotary Club’s Kathy Stutzman.