Saide's African Storybook Project is an initiative to stimulate the provision and use of openly licensed stories in local African languages for early reading. The project is conducting pilots in rural and urban sites across Kenya, Uganda, Lesotho and South Africa.
The vision of the African Storybook Project is for every African child to have enough stories in a language familiar to them to practise their reading skills and learn to love reading.
A key obstacle to learning to read is the shortage of appropriate stories for early reading in African languages. There are few or no picture books for young children, and very little material of any kind in the 'familiar' languages of most African children. Since young Africans have very little to read in familiar languages, they often do not learn to read well or enjoy reading. This in turn means that there is not a market for African language books and publishers cannot afford to produce many such books. So young Africans end up with very little to read and the cycle continues. The African Storybook Project aims to intervene positively in this vicious cycle in order to create the numbers of stories in the numbers of languages needed for African children to learn to read fluently and with enjoyment.
On the African Storybook Project WEBSITE you can
- find, read and download or print stories that you can use with children,
- write comments on the stories that you find and read,
- translate stories into an African language,
- adapt stories for the level and context of the children, and also
- create new stories in one of the templates.
We have a growing network of PARTNERS – in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and elsewhere. These partners are encouraging use of the website and its stories.
We have a growing number of STORIES, both developed on the ground in our pilot countries, as well as shared with us by authors such as Alexander McCall Smith, or organisations such as Pratham Books, Book Dash, PRAESA’s Nal’ibali and Little Hands Books initiatives, and the READ organisation.