STELLAA: Stella’s Training Education Literacy Learning and Academic Assistance
S.T.E.L.L.A.A. is a non-profit literary organization based in Canada, and they are holding a blog tour to celebrate four years of incredible work. I agreed to participate in the tour because literacy is obviously a cause that I support, and I do try to read quite a bit from the various African countries.
S.T.E.L.L.A.A. was founded in June 2007 and incorporated in August 2008 in tribute to the late Stella Ede Anigozie. As a kind-hearted and well-respected individual, Stella Ede Anigozie inspired the young and old. It is now the goal of this charitable organization to inspire the people of Africa to realise their potential and live their lives to the fullest.
S.T.E.L.L.A.A. was founded by five volunteers who have a passion for global citizenship and want to have an impact on literacy, education, the environment, and poverty in Africa. S.T.E.L.L.A.A. continues to be a volunteer based non-profit organization.
At present S.T.E.L.L.A.A. is working in Nigeria, and they have plans to expand into Ghana and Liberia. They accept used books which they use to create libraries in communities and schools which are in need. These donated books allow for greater literacy programming as well as library use. They are also developing a librarian training curriculum for those who will be maintaining these libraries.
When it comes to charities, I am always rather picky in finding the right one that does more good than harm – because I believe every action has possible harm. In the case of S.T.E.L.L.A.A., I appreciate that they work with the government to work in schools rather than attempting to build a separate structure that would require more maintenance and planning. This is something that can be easy to overlook, but the more integrated services are, the more it builds up the public sector and the more it ensures that the service will continue without large overhead monies required. This isn’t always the case, but is often the case. (Don’t believe me? Read Haiti by Paul Farmer for a great in-depth analysis of this.)
The one main issue with the format that I would see is that sending donated books puts a strain on any attempts at local publishing – and doesn’t necessarily introduce to the libraries any kind of local stories or characters. As it has been proven that children take to reading more when they see characters like themselves, this is something worth considering. (A great book that talks about how charities can sometimes do more harm than they realize is When Helping Hurts by Corbet and Fikkert. Always good to know more!) That being said – if you have some books set in Nigeria sitting around that you don’t want, you might want to consider donating them
All in all, S.T.E.L.L.A.A. sounds like a really interesting organization doing great work building libraries and promoting literacy education. Do check out their site and consider getting involved! Also, check out the other stops on the tour to learn more:
Additionally, S.T.E.L.L.A.A. is hosting a book giveaway of some really great titles. Go enter now!
I want to know – what literary charities do you support and promote?