Education Programs ADC distributes books, constructs schools and libraries, provides scholarships to students and training to teachers and librarians in Liberia, Uganda and Tanzania.
Library Book Distribution ADC implemented the largest book distribution in the history of Liberia through the “Million Book March for Literacy,” supported by a grant from USAID’s African Education Initiative. ADC distributed nearly one million new and used books to 1040 schools in all the counties of Liberia. These books were shipped from the United States to Liberia in in 30 shipping containers in 2007-09. The books include a wide range of American school textbooks of all levels- primary, secondary and college- as well as dictionaries, encyclopedias, novels and general interest non-fiction books in areas such as health, business and computer science. Each primary school receives 500 books, while secondary schools receive 2000 books. Shelves and librarian training for 3400 teachers were included as well. USAID considers the program a model for book distribution that should be replicated elsewhere.
School and Library Construction ADC has rehabilitated and constructed schools, libraries and teachers housing in rural areas in Liberia and Uganda. These schools were built in areas affected by years of civil war. ADC collaborates with the Ministry of Education in these countries to address areas in most need. ADC has worked with local community members to build furniture such as desks and benches for the schools. These ADC-run construction projects aid in the peace building process by hiring local labor. The libraries are based at local secondary schools and are utilized by the students during the day, and by community members at night. Libraries have solar panels that charge the batteries which operate the lights at night, important in rural areas that are off the electric grid. Each library has over 3000 books, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, textbooks, general nonfiction and novels.
Scholarship Provision ADC understands the importance of access to education as in most African countries, it is severely limited as parents cannot afford tuition. ADC has addressed this concern by providing scholarships to deserving girls in junior high and secondary school, and forming mentored girls clubs to assure they stay in school. Through these scholarships, ADC has prioritized the education of girls as essential to development in impoverished communities.
Teacher and Librarian Training ADC has designed and implemented an intensive 12 week training course for rural primary school teachers in Africa who have never received any prior formal training. ADC designed courses and facilitated training sessions for teachers already in the school system to gain important skills and improve their teaching abilities. ADC also trained teachers and librarians on school library management to ensure the proper use of books; trained hundreds of basic literacy instructors; and trained teachers in sexual exploitation awareness and psychosocial support.
In Washington DC, ADC has previously also invited Francophone African secondary students to the United States to bolster their understanding of civil participation, democratic society, conflict resolution and community development. To learn more, read about the Africa Youth Leadership Program.