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Posted: 08/02/2016 03:29 PM

MILLIONS OF bright new futures are beckoning across Ghana as plans for a major literacy drive were unveiled at a glittering gala dinner to promote a better education for West Africa’s next generation.

Hundreds of guests enjoyed the inspirational charity ball at London’s Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency Mr Victor Smith, High Commissioner of Ghana.

The inaugural event was supported by the charity Promoting Global Literacy (PGL) and the not-for-profit company Universal Learning Solutions (ULS), with The Voice as media partner.

“The evening far exceeded our expectations because the groundswell of support for what we are aiming to do was overwhelming,” said Henry Yentumi, one of the founder members of PGL.

“We know that Ghana desperately needs to improve its literacy rates, particularly in rural areas; this was highlighted during the evening, but not in a negative way. It was a call to action, a collaboration of people coming together to advocate for better literacy across Ghana.

“With commitment from the High Commission, Governments, companies, individuals and charities we can drive this programme forward. So many people have stepped up with offers of help – we can now tap into this goodwill to build on the momentum and put in place a credible plan. It’s our moral responsibility to equip Ghana’s next generation for the challenges that lie ahead for every child.”

Ghanaian-born Mr Yentumi helped to launch PGL in 2014 in a bid to offer something back to the country where he was raised.

“Within my own family I know how important education has been,” he said. “My grandfather was illiterate, my father left school at 16, but was determined that I should receive a good education. I am now in the UK where I work as a revenues consultant for local government and my daughter is on a fast-track career development plan with the Ministry of Justice.

“That is the power of education – it helped to transform my family within three generations and it can do the same for millions of others.”

Mr Yentumi is a strong advocate for the literacy success story happening in Nigeria under the Jolly Phonics project developed by ULS.

“Pilot studies have been carried out on the Jolly Phonics system and we have found that children learn twice as fast. We now have the vital evidence that this same system will work in Ghana.”

The charity ball has also helped to raise further money for a crowd-funding campaign to buy three mobile library vans for schools, many of which are isolated in rural areas.

Mr Yentumi added: “Our first literacy drive ball certainly included some inspirational speakers but it was no talking shop. This was a call to action and we are now focussing on transforming this enthusiasm into practice.”

WE ARE supporting the campaign to give children in Ghana the life-changing gift of reading and writing. Please join us!

Click HERE to give to the Mobile Library Crowdfunding campaign.

Just £5 each from 4,000 people will buy one mobile library van.
Help make it happen.

[Words by Poppy Brady/photos by Ernest Simons]