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The Northern Regional Library in Tamale’s popular Internet Access and Training Programme (IATP) has attracted the support of the influential Chief of Tamale, the Dakpema Naa Mohammed Dawuni, who has given the project his blessing.
During a visit to the library, Dakpema Naa Mohammed Dawuni praised the work of the library in extending literacy to rural areas, and called on the government to ensure the library was well supported.
With EIFL-PLIP support, the Northern Regional Library has purchased and installed 25 computers, set up Internet connections, and is providing computer and leadership training to youth at risk in Tamale and surrounding villages. “We use the computers to help disadvantaged children in parts of Tamale to acquire basic computer skills,” the Regional Librarian, Mr Aaron Kuwornu, explained to the Chief.
The library offers training at no cost, especially for children who have dropped out of school. For youth from rural areas, where many people struggle to generate income, the library presents the only opportunity for learning computer skills:
“I wish to say thank you for the opportunity given to us to also be computer literate. I used to admire people in the Internet cafes. So in fact I am very happy and I am sure my friends are also happy for a dream come true,” said Perpetual Adda, after a training session.
The library also offers training for unemployed and employed youth who have never learnt computer skills, to help them find work, start small businesses and improve their careers. Over the past six months, the library has trained over 146 young people, including 81 are young women.
“As a young lady, I am usually timid – especially in our cultural context. But with discussion at the meetings I have developed my confidence levels and can now speak in public – something I dreaded in the past,” said Ms Asiedu Esther, who is aged 20.
“I got to know many people at the IATP programme and have acquired a good name through my contribution. I am happy because I believe that a good name is better than riches,” said Mr Alhassan Yussif, who is aged 21.
“I am now computer literate through this organization. I can write a report and have learned self and time management through the leadership training,” said Mr Musa Sherifatu, who is aged 21.
The library has entered into a new partnership, with Savana Signatures a non-governmental organization, based in the northern region of Ghana, Tamale. Savana Signatures primarily works in ICTs for Development with a focus on mainstreaming ICT in education, knowledge sharing on ICTs, youth development and leadership skills. Working with Savana Signatures, the library conducted a leadership seminar, on the theme “Effective Leadership and Communication Skills”.
By the end of April 2011 the programme will have trained a total of 190 young people.