Container of books bound for Tan­za­nia

Central Leader - - NEWS - By CIARA PRATT

Liz Robin­son knows the power a book can have in a child’s life.

She trav­elled to Ghana in 2012 and 2013 where she worked in small vil­lages de­liv­er­ing clothes and fur­ni­ture, vol­un­teer­ing in or­phan­ages and help­ing set up li­braries in schools.

Now she is on an­other mis­sion, this time to Tan­za­nia.

Miss Robin­son, to­gether with the char­ity RATA Teacher Sup­port, is col­lect­ing books and ed­u­ca­tional sup­plies to send to schools in the east African coun­try.

A ship­ping container to carry the books has been sup­plied by Main­freight but now the group needs books and do­na­tions to fill it.

‘‘They need great sto­ries to fire their imag­i­na­tions, to dis­cover their world, to store and ac­cess knowl­edge and to en­rich how they use lan­guage,’’ Miss Robin­son says.

Trav­el­ling to Ghana and work­ing with the lo­cal people made her re­alise how much ed­u­ca­tion and life’s ne­ces­si­ties are taken for granted in New Zealand.

‘‘For mil­lions of people this is not a va­ca­tion but a way of life,’’ she says.

‘‘Poverty and a lack of qual­ity health care, ed­u­ca­tion and their jus­tice sys­tem is nor­mal.’’

RATA is a New Zealand or­gan­i­sa­tion that sends qual­i­fied teach­ers to men­tor and train teach­ers in African and In­dian schools.

They spend five years in the schools work­ing on projects in­clud­ing set­ting up li­braries.

Its founder and trustee Glenys Bichan says their work aims to train teach­ers in the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries how to use the books they send over.

‘‘We are about mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to kids by giv­ing them ac­cess to trained teach­ers who know how to use re­sources and books to good ef­fect,’’ Ms Bichan says.

RATA is in need of five pri­mary school teach­ers to travel to Ghana dur­ing the Oc­to­ber school hol­i­days to pro­vide sup­port.

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