The voices of a generation are found in the stories they tell.
Across Liberia, students from Grade 1 to Grade 9 are asked to write fables, stories, biographies, and personal reflections to express their creativity and cultural experiences giving a glimpse into their lives for the 1001 Stories Project. The 1001 Stories Project initiates and provides opportunities for students to improve their literacy, story-writing, and story-telling skills. In Liberia and Ghana, Edify partner schools participate in their own national competition. Each piece is submitted to an independent committee that votes on first, second, and third prize winners. Afterward, every submission is published and uploaded to eReaders via Worldreader, an online digital library, and each student receives their story printed into a personal book. These stories are collected to form 1001 stories of students across the world. It gives us a glimpse into the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of children and for their writing to be shared. In schools where bookshelves are bare, holding your writing in your hands becomes a magical moment and transforms dreams for the future.
In Liberia, the prize for a first-place story can be life-changing: a 1-year scholarship to their school.
Hannah Deniece Hoff of Senow Academy, an Edify partner school, won the first annual 1001 Stories Project in Liberia in 2018. For her, the scholarship not only changed her life but her family’s too. “Hannah has five siblings. Since her schooling was now paid for, her parents could afford to buy clothes for the rest of her brothers and sisters,” tells Andrew Diggs, Liberia Technology Support Officer.
Hannah’s story, Is This What Life is About!, tells of a little girl, Deniece, who “was not content with what she had.” Her grandmother, Ma Yahyah, “was always grateful to God for what they had,” tells her a story of a guinea fowl who decided to search for a better life by joining a group of chickens.
Hannah shares that she loves to read, dance, and sing. Her future ambition in life is to become a writer. We can’t wait to see how Hannah, and other students across West Africa, use their voice to tell stories of their generation.
Read Hannah’s first-place story here: Is This What Life is About!