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Somerville Ghana Library Project

Build a library, build a future

  • £9,453

    pledged of £9,000

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What is the Somerville Ghana Library Project?

In 2003, a free public library sprung up in Ghana’s Cape Coast, and has been used by hundreds of adults and children over the past decade. 'Molly's Library' was born of a friendship between Somerville student Hattie Begg, who volunteered in Ghana, and the wonderful host of the library Molly Yankey. Together they wanted to create a learning resource centre for the local community that they hoped would help fight illiteracy by providing access to materials and a space for learning. 

Hattie gathered a group of friends and supporters at Somerville College, and they managed to collect over 6000 donated books and raise funds to ship them to Molly.  Almost every year since Somerville students have been welcomed back by Molly.  They bring materials, assist the librarians and help teach English in the summers, as well as raising funds annually to pay the ongoing running costs.  Molly's Library is an educational resource for people of all ages, giving access to textbooks, fiction, drama and foreign language books. Used by over 300 people each week, the library is now at the heart of the community.

Photos: Trip to Molly's Library in 2009

We need your help

The building that Molly used for the library since 2003 is no longer available for rent. The library is currently stored in a temporary location, but this building is unsuitable, with little space for books or for people to read them. A plot of land adjacent to the local school has been purchased with support raised by Somerville students.  Now, we hope raise the funds to enable the construction of a new and permanent library.  

Plans for the building include a teaching room, reading room, washroom, storeroom and a small office. Split into three stages, the build will begin with the foundations, move to the framework of the building and the completion stage will provide windows, doors, plumbing and painting. Our minimum target is that required for the first two stages. The total goal would cover the full cost building the library. If we are successful, any additional funds will go towards new library resources, such as new furniture, additional books, and even a computer. We need your help to build a permanent library, and invest in the future of a whole community!


Photos: The temporary library 

What we’ve done so far

Somerville students have come together and shown their huge support for this project. We have been holding raffles, bake sales, karaokes, jumper sales and whatever else we can think of to raise as much money as possible. Together, the Somerville undergraduates (JCR) have created an impressive £3,000 to offer as a match for those first gifts of support.

Why is it important?

According to UNICEF, 28.5% of people aged 15 and over in Ghana are illiterate, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development placed Ghana at the very bottom of its global school ranking. Access to books and materials is a major factor; the next nearest public library to Molly's is more than a 12km walk away. Unfortunately, the temporary accommodation is only a short-term solution.  Unless we can help create a permanent space to house the library, Molly's Library will soon cease to be the valuable resource in the community it has become over the last decade. Please give what you can to help Molly and her community keep the library they love.

Photos: Trip to Molly's Library in 2012

Help us succeed!

If you can’t donate, but still want to get involved, you can help Molly by spreading the word and sharing this project with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, email and all other social media.  Your support means so much - providing access to books and learning for a community has an immeasurably positive behavioural, psychological and educational impact.  Thank you very much for your help.


Find us here:

You can follow us here to keep up to date on our progress!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/somervillecollegeghanalibraryproject

Instagram: https://instagram.com/somervilleghanalibrary/

Blog: https://somervilleghanalibraryproject.wordpress.com/


Choose reward

Pledge £1 or more

Select this reward if you just want to donate to the project without receiving a reward.

56 claimed

Pledge £10 or more

We will email you a termly newsletter for the next year with updates from the library including pictures of the construction progress.

27 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 July 2015

Pledge £25 or more

You will receive the above, plus a hand-written thank-you note from the Molly’s Library Student Society at Somerville College.

11 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 July 2015

Pledge £50 or more

You will receive all of the above, plus a posted class photograph of current students at the Library.

11 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 August 2015

Pledge £100 or more

You will receive all of the above, plus your name on supporter’s page of the Somerville Ghana Library Project Blog.

7 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 July 2015

Pledge £250 or more

You will receive all of the above, plus a named inscription in a book of your choosing; you will be sent a photograph of the inscription in the book. We will be in touch to discuss this further with you!

2 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 October 2015

Pledge £500 or more

You will receive all of the above, plus a thank you video from one of Molly’s students!

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 October 2015

Pledge £1000 or more

You will receive all of the above, plus you will be invited to celebratory drinks and formal dinner at Somerville College. We will be in touch to discuss a time that would be most suitable for you!

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 October 2015