African Children’s Stories

About the Project

This project is one of the 2018 WISE Awards finalists. 

African Children’s Stories is a sustainable and scalable model nurturing creativity, imagination and tradition through the publication of stories written by primary-aged students from all African nations. This project aims to fix the lack of available African authored education material while increasing literacy rates and preserving oral traditions through stories children captured from their elders.

Context and Issue

Many schools across the African continent do not have access to student resources that are culturally relevant. This situation is due in part to the impact of colonization and the lack of availability of African authored educational materials; as a consequence of the rapid urbanization of Africa, and the lack of published Africa material, oral traditions are being lost and students are learning in a cultural vacuum.

It has been proven that increase in literacy standards is directly affected by access to culturally authentic resources. Most materials provided in African schools are set in an unfamiliar context.

Solution and Impact

The Ducere Foundation works with teachers and students to capture the best stories written by students between the ages of 10-14 across all African countries. These stories are promoted as supplementary readers to ensure that the voices of children are heard, cultural relevance upheld, and oral tradition preserved.

Ducere focusses on three approaches: stories that explore the imagination and creativity, stories that reflect the realities of life, and stories captured from elders. Preservation of oral tradition is a critical part of literacy exploration and improvement. This program also leads to dynamic engagement in the classroom, careful observation of nature, intent listening and the aspiration to become a published author.

The Ducere Foundation program has been built on a sustainable and scalable model delivered by Country coordinators and/or in partnership with like minded organizations and dynamic relationships within the respective education departments and the Australian Embassies and High Commissions across Africa who share common objectives. Ducere Foundation delivers a teacher training masterclass model that integrates teachers and students in the learning experience. The Foundation is currently building a teacher-education model with a number of African universities to build storytelling into teacher training and basic literacy.

The program has seen rapid development, replication and delivery.  Beginning in Botswana in 2012 the ACS had expanded to 21 African nations. The growth has seen 619 school partnerships, over 37,000 children engaged and more than 600 student authors published in 50 collections.

Future Developments

The future development goal is to capture, publish and distribute African children’s stories from the 54 African nations by 2024, with over 2,000,000 books printed and distributed to schools.

April 26, 2018 (last update 12-30-2020)