Cocoa Village ghana art and community projects

Our Library:

Although the official language in Ghana is English, and is the language used in schools and business, the majority of people in underdeveloped rural villages have a very poor grasp of the language. This is extremely detrimental for their future life prospects. When I first moved to Ghana, I was communicating with the children from the village with my hands and using drawings. However, over time I started to use Slovenian and other foreign language picture books and found that together we were able to interpret the stories from the book, despite it’s language, and begin to discuss them in English. With the help of my friends, I’ve translated some foreign  childrens’ books into English and I started to run regular ‘reading hour’ workshops. I was really pleased and impressed to observe that in a very short time the children’s  knowledge of English improved significantly, with many of them now much more confident with reading and writing as well. As well as helping with the education and entertainment of the children in my village, the project will also give books that are no longer needed a new life, reducing the environmental impact and sadness of wasting old books.Library will be open for Cocoa village guests.  They could spend a day in library, reading books with children. On this way they can share peace of their knowlage with children and somehow to contribute for better future.

Library will be open for Cocoa village guests.  They could spend a day in library, reading books with children. On this way they can share peace of their knowlage with children and somehow to contribute for better future.

 So, if u are on the way to visit our guesthouse u are kindly invited to bring your old picturebook and help us to make our lybrary more ‘colourful’!

 

A Story from Africa handmade ghana art picture book about children life at lake Bosomtwi

 

About the book

I have illustrated a few books but the book A Story from Africa is Tjašas first independent ghana art book for children. A Story from Africa is handmade and excellent in visual design. I printed and bound the book myself. The illustrations are from my sketchbook. I made them during my staying in Ghana. They are a kind of a ‘result’ of a communication between the children from the remote village Anyinatiase and me. Their way of expression fascinated me so strongly I decided to leave my canvas and made a book instead.

This is a story about the real life in the village. The main character in the book and a teller of the story is a girl called Doris, who lives in the village and is my best friend. The book is all in one – an atlas, a dictionary, a cookbook, an ethnologic encyclopaedia and a sketchbook. Children’s drawings tell the story of life in the village through the eyes of the eleven years old girl. Sentences are simple and easy to understand also for the youngest readers.

The contents of the story playfully and in a likeable manner show the life in a remote African village to the adult reader and the child alike. I wrote it in English, therefore, people from different parts of the world can read it, also the children in Ghana, and it encourages the children from all over the world to read.

 The purpose of the book

I made 20 books and each of them is the same. At a first glance, the book seems to be a finished item but its contents invites the reader to cooperate, to interact. The book changes when a reader decides to interfere. The process of creation continues, it is transferred to the reader and it ends with the reader’s intervention. By completing the book, a reader creates a unique, individual image of the book and becomes a co-author of my work.

Why is my book A Story from Africa interesting?

First, I wanted to make a connection between the children from the African village and the children from the developed countries. In the times of fast growing technologies and abundance that mark the modern people, I wanted to bring near, especially to the children, the life that people in non-developed countries are living now. The book is beneficial also for the readers from the African countries. They link up through the story that is familiar to them and the book because of its interactive role encourages them to read.

Second, the book is not for reading only, its advantage is also in the active role of a reader who has to complete it. The interactive contents encourage a reader to identify with the story.

 

Book A story from Africa was successfully funded by Kickstarter donors in November 2013. The book was published in May 2014 and is available at our Art studio in Cocoa Village.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1919160256/a-story-from-africa

 

Children workshop at Cocoa village art studio:

Tjaša is an artist, so it was natural that she start with ghana art workshops since she first time came to ghana.

They start with readings hours, drawings on papers, making dolls from old rags, painting and last with batik workshops.

Children drawings she has used as illustrations in her handmade book A story from Africa, which was published on 2014. The money from sold book she use to make weekly workshops for local children.

Last year Tjaša has participate few children paintings on 19. international exhibition for children. Four of her „student“ get prize for their art work.

She co-organize an exhibition at Alliance Française, where the children’s from 45 different country’s exhibit their paintings and drawings.

We try to help the environment in which we live and work through different projects. In the end, the main goal is to improve the conditions for the local people and ensure the possibilities for their personal growth.

Some of our guests do their best to personally sponsor the local children, especially the tuition fees and school supplies.

Please, feel free to contact us for more information about personal sponsorships.

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