In the villages of Ghana, West Africa, school books are hard to come by. Over the past ten years, Books and More Education Foundation has sent numerous shipments of books to those in Ghana who need them most in an effort to both break the area’s cycle of poverty and increase the quality of life through education.
“The schools don’t have any books and the libraries are gone,” said the foundation’s founder, Ike Essuman.
Essuman was born and raised in Ghana as one of nearly thirty siblings and immigrated to the United States about 40 years ago. His passion for learning and helping others led him to start Books and More, and with the help of generous donations from Friends of the Turlock Public Library, Ballico Elementary School, Julien Elementary School and Turlock High School, the foundation has been able to provide books to Ghanaian youth.
Currently, Books and More is in possession of three 40-foot containers filled with books that they hope to ship to Ghana, and the foundation is asking for the public’s help and donations in order to pay the $9,000 that it will take to get the books to West Africa. According to Essuman, it costs $5,500 to ship the books and another $3,500 to cover costs of labor to transport, pick up and load the books.
Books and More has also implemented a teacher training program in technology for use in the classroom. The program is held at Mfantseman Institute of Technology in Ghana, and Books and More hopes to eventually provide not only training for technology use, but also the technology itself. One of the foundation’s goals for the future is to provide e-readers and computers for classroom use, along with books.
There are several ways the public can help, said Essuman. Fundraisers can be held by community members who wish to raise funds for the foundation. A representative from Books and More attends the event, providing a short, informative presentation on the program and invitees are encouraged to contribute what they can to the foundation.
The public can also donate to the cause; money and airline points are both acceptable forms of donation. To sponsor a shipment of books, visit www.booksandmoreeducationfoundation.org. Donations of all amounts are accepted, and checks can also be sent to the foundation at 330 Crane Ave. Suite B330. If you would like to donate airline points, call Books and More Education Foundation at 209-277-2506.