Schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will benefit from new books promoting African heritage helping “shine a light on a different world”.
Children in primary schools across the north-east will receive the collection of new books highlighting African culture and history this month.
The project called Afri-Tales is being launched by the Africulture Network – a charity initiative dedicated to sharing African culture and improving cultural diversity.
Supported by the International School Aberdeen (ISA), 100 books written by award-winning Nigerian-Canadian author Ekiuwa Aire, will be rolled out across 10 school libraries in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
The charity are visiting the schools this month to celebrate culture and also help dispel “predisposed ideas” children may believe about Africa.
Celebrating culture and dispelling myths
With one in four people in Aberdeen being born outside of Scotland, Eugene Ogosi from the charity said it was important for children to gain insight on life in other countries.
“Our aim is to educate schoolchildren across the north-east on what life is like for children living and schooling in Africa,” explained Mr Ogosi.
“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.”
They delighted children by helping illustrate the stories by dressing in traditional African attire and using artefacts.
Aiming to give children a ‘more balanced’ world view
Ms Aire, author of the stories, said the books were born from a passion to build love and knowledge of African history and culture.
Also wanting to teach her own kids about their history, she founded the publishing company, Our Ancestories.
“I am excited and humbled to be contributing to the preservation of African heritage and culture using my books,” said Ms Aire.
“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.”
Martin Greig, Aberdeen City Council spokesman for education and culture, said the council was “grateful” to the Africulture Network for launching the campaign.
He added: “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.”