North-East children receive new books thanks to campaign to boost African culture in schools

The ISA Afri-Tales launch

PRIMARY schools across the North-East are benefiting from a collection of new books thanks to a charity initiative to promote African heritage and improve cultural diversity in Scotland. 

The Afri-Tales project is being launched by The Africulture Network, a group of passionate professionals dedicated to showcasing African culture at its best. With the support of International School Aberdeen (ISA), The Africulture Network has purchased a collection of 100 new books thanks to a recent fund-raising campaign. 

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The initial roll out of the Afri-Tales campaign will see 10 school libraries across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire receive the books written by award-winning Nigerian-Canadian authorEkiuwa Aire highlighting the rich history and vibrant culture of the African continent.

Mavis Anagboso, Co-Founder of The Africulture Network, is among a group of representatives from the charity visiting schools across the region this month to read Ekiuwa’s books in a series of planned visits to promote African heritage and dispel some predisposed ideas children may have of Africa.

The team, including The Africulture Network’s Eugene Ogosi and Gloria Adebo, have so far delighted children at ISA and Dunecht Primary School where they were dressed in traditional African attire and brought with them artefacts and other cultural items to engage with the children and help illustrate their stories.

“Our aim is to educate schoolchildren across the North-East on what life is like for children living and schooling in Africa,” explained Eugene.

“This campaign is about celebrating and acknowledging the rich and diverse culture we have in Africa and to shine a light on a different world so that children in Scotland can hear about Africa from Africans themselves.

“We want to help stock more school libraries with books on African heritage so all children can gain an insight into life in the countries and cities of Africa including the traditions, music, food and history.”

All of the books penned by Ekiuwa, who describes herself as a ‘cultural connector’, were born from a passion for building a love and knowledge of African history and culture. This has led to Ekiuwa championing the importance of diversity in the children’s book industry. The author founded the publishing company, Our Ancestories, from a desire to teach her own children about their unique history.

“I am excited and humbled to be contributing to the preservation of African heritage and culture using my books,” said Ekiuwa.

“My vision through Our Ancestories is to nudge the world towards a point where there is an avid learning culture for African history. Learning about history also gives children insight into their own culture and community giving them a more balanced view of the world.”

One in four people in Aberdeen were born outside of Scotland, highlighting the region’s global reach.

Councillor Martin Greig, Aberdeen City Council spokesperson for Education and Culture, said, “We have a diverse international community in Aberdeen and it’s wonderful to witness this new chapter of cross-cultural connection between Africa and Scotland being promoted through our educational system. We are grateful to The Africulture Network for launching the Afri-Tales campaign to celebrate all that is unique about African heritage.”

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