Youth Crime Watch of Liberia has officially launched its Street Library Project to the public, in Paynesville with community members expressing delight over the latest development.
At a ceremony attended by several dignitaries and community residents, a group of Children read out loud in the Library at the amazement of their guests, expressing happiness that an educational facility has for the first time been dedicated in their community.
One of the kids, Jeremiah, read a special letter to the guest about how they feel about the Street Library since its establishment. Jeremiah expressed enthusiasm for the educational development and called on Youth Crimes Watch to expand the Library Project to other communities. “This is the only place we have to call our own, even though, this is raining season, we still come here to read, we have come to love certain books and stories already, please help the street library to grow”, Jeremiah’s letter concluded .
The ACP Street Library project opened its doors to children and others recently as a way of promoting a Culture of Reading, as well as promoting and creating access to cultural contents and entrepreneurs. The occasion was intended to officially launch the Street Library Concept in Liberia and as well bring stakeholders and community leaders together, who had the opportunity to hear from the children and a tour of the Street Library physical space and Book Room at the Young Women Empowerment Center.
The Keynote Speaker, US Ambassador to Liberia through a statement read on her behalf by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Madam Sheila Paskman, thanked Youth Crime Watch for empowering Liberia’s future leaders through education and encouraged parents to keep encouraging their children to cultivate the culture of reading.
“Witnessing the Launch of the Street Library today, proves that Liberians themselves are taken lead in developing their nation,…..my hope is to see street Libraries all across Liberia, thanks volunteers, your service will help develop Liberia ……parents, thank you for helping your children to come to the Library….the children are Liberia’s future; children ……your parents are investing in you…just as a small tree grows into a big ones, we hope that you all will all grow to contribute to the betterment of your communities” the statement said.
According to youth Crimes Watch Executive Director Zuo Taylor , Street Library volunteers have been working hard in creating a positive space for the children to be emerged in the culture of reading.
The Street Library’s space provides different learning circles; at the reading room, the set-up allows each child to practice their phonics, create their own picture book and even sit in a reading circle. This allows a structured environment without the complicated schedules; removing the burden of the children from other unfounded activities as they sit in a cool, friendly and refreshing environment, Zuo said.
For the Promotion of Cultural Entrepreneurship, and access to local contents, the Street Library with support from the European Development Fund, through the African Caribbean Pacific Group of States has supported the development of an Application, which will be used to upload, share and preserve Liberia’s cultural Heritage and traditional/oral artifacts. This platform also engages and connects with cultural entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to tell their stories.
During the weeks of July 28 – 31st, Youth Crime Watch of Liberia held Focus Group Discussion to test the application that has already been developed by Microsoft Portugal and to assess the usability among key stakeholders, with representatives of cultural artists, musicians, arts and crafts, and Cultural Unionist participating. The Street Library Application (Software) when downloaded to a mobile device, or any Windows device, will allow the uploading of contents to a digital platform so that anyone who can have access to different literatures, stories, music and other cultural pieces; thereby preserving the rich Liberian culture.