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Your faculty and staff news since 1965
May 9, 2005
Volume 40, Number 10

Books for Peace: Prof establishes library in Ghana

A small community in Ghana, West Africa, is in need of new and used books and educational videos for a new library. Items will be collected in conjunction with Staff Appreciation Week.

African American Studies Director Shiame Okunor used the financial prize accompanying his 2004 Alumni Association Teacher of the Year Award to establish the library. President Louis Caldera is also among the first donors.

“Our president realized the importance of educating for the future,” Okunor said.

The mission for the library is two-fold. Literacy is a goal, but most importantly, Okunor said, “it is a place to help educate future Ghanian leaders – to ensure that peace, harmony and social justice for all is the underlying philosophy of future decision-making in regard to economics, religion and culture. I hope to expose them to relevant international issues regarding sustainable development.”

Okunor, a UNM Peace Studies Program member, is a frequent visitor to Ghana, taking student groups there each summer. Children living in the community have two choices after school, he said, play soccer if a field is accessible and/or gather around a neighborhood television to watch imported reruns. “They have little access to learning materials and there are neither public libraries nor community centers within range. Establishing a free community library will help these young men and women prepare to constructively lead their nation one day,” Okunor said.

Earmark books for the library and deliver to the Staff Council office in Hokona Hall, rm. 302 or drop off at the staff book event Wednesday, June 8, from noon to 2 p.m. in Lobo rooms A & B. Leftover books will be donated to the library.

An account has been established at the New Mexico Educators Credit Union to pay shipping and postage. Deposit to account #2540630 for the “free community library fund” at any location, including the SUB, or send a check to NMECU, P.O. Box 8530, Albq. N.M., 87198.

Books can also be mailed directly to Abu Adams, Community Library, P.O. Box KN 1473, Kaneshie, Ghana, West Africa.