Dear Africa: new book launched

Monday, October 18, 2010

¬Original Article published in University newspaper- Pluto¬

A book of letters between Lancastrian and African children is being published by UCLan students.

Letters to Africa is a riveting collection of letters exchanged between more than 250 children from Lancashire, Kenya and Zambia, as well as contributions by UCLan students and renowned authors.

The aim of the book is to exemplify a side of Africa never seen before.

The book is a charitable project and all proceeds will buy educational resources for the African schoolchildren in Kenya and Zambia.

Project Manager Debbie Williams, explained what she wants the book to achieve.

“By publishing this book we hope to bridge the cultural divide between UK and African school children by giving them a chance to tell us about their lives through letters, drawings and photographs,” she said.

“This is a completely unique venture. There are a lot of projects and publications about Africa written by adults and experts but none which allowed the children who live there to speak directly about their environment, daily life and their future.

This eight month project is a collaborative effort of second and third year students from UCLan’s publishing, photography, writing for children, children’s illustration, linguistics and sport science. Photography student, Gemma Nolan, even won a BBC Wildlife photography competition for her close up of a lion in Kenya.

Letters to Africa is supported by celebrated children’s authors Lauren St John (au­thor of The White Giraffe), Mary Hoffman (author of Amazing Grace and the Stravaganza series), Ifeoma Onyefulu (author of A is for Africa) and others, who have all contributed to the book.

This 145 page book proves to be an exceptional resource for primary school teachers and the creative curriculum helping students discover Africa through cultural anecdotes, fun facts, journal entries by visitors who have exchanged engaging tales with the Maasai people and equally captivating fiction accompanied with beautifully captured local photography.

Concurrently, since its publication in August 2010, it has been long-listed for Channel 4’s TV Book Club. What makes Letters to Africa even more

The UCLan Publishing House has joined hands with charitable companies such as The National Literary Trust to help them promote this spellbinding book and have also started working on a second instalment focussing on the social and environmental changes in Kenya.

You can purchase your copy at Blackwell Bookstore (Student Union) for only £9.99.


The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity that transforms lives through literacy by working with individuals who struggle with literacy and the professionals that support them.

One in six people in the UK struggle to read and write. Poor skills compromise health, confidence, happiness and employability but with better literacy, everyone can succeed in life.

That is why the National Literacy Trust campaigns to improve understanding of the importance of literacy and to help individuals to understand the importance of literacy in their lives.


Post a Comment