We are expanding! Can you offer us your time and skills remotely?

Reading Spots Online Volunteer Roles

Reading Spots is expanding! Can you offer us your time and skills remotely? All you will need is a laptop, good wifi, good IT skills, and a passion for making a real difference to the impact of this innovative community-led project. Applicants from any country may apply though experience of the Ghanaian or UK education systems may be helpful. Apply by 10th August 2018 – full details are given below (please do read all the information carefully before contacting us). Please note that these are volunteer opportunities rather than paid positions. 

Reading Spots Project

Reading Spots is a fast-developing UK registered charity initially set up in 2015 by two UK teachers, a Ghanaian driver and six pupils. The project (which is entirely volunteer-led) aims to engage pupils in an active exploration of charitable ethics and sustainable development, whilst raising funds to create community-led libraries in rural areas of Ghana. This is particularly in response to the demand for reading material in Ghana, with few books available despite ‘The Library’ being one of the core sections of the Ghana Education Service’s English curriculum. We work in partnership with the Ghana Library Authority and Book Aid International, and in 2018 we won the TES ‘International Award’ for the best UK international education project.

Our low-cost model creates libraries or ‘Reading Spots’ in Ghana owned and run by a combination of traditional leaders and local government officials who provide land and provide a librarian and electricity; some libraries are also created within private schools on the condition that the facilities are open for the whole community. Each library is run by an enthusiastic team of local volunteers, and various education projects run at the libraries, depending on the community’s interests, including: sanitation projects, health clubs, drama clubs, science clubs and various reading groups.  We hope that the libraries to be examples of sustainable projects, with an aim to ensure that solar power is fitted in all projects by the end of 2019, with local bookshops attached to raise funds for the upkeep of the libraries.

We now have several UK schools involved in the project through fundraising and our book drives, with Brighton College and Sevenoaks School (from 2018) leading annual trips to Ghana. Since 2015 we have raised over £150,000 to construct or support 13 libraries and a classroom block in Ghana (across 6 different regions), shipping over 20,000 books, buying £1500 of African books, and gaining support from five UK trust funds and several publishers.

For more information see www.readingspots.org, or follow us on social media (www.twitter.com/readingspots, www.facebook.com/readingspots). For any questions about the roles do email contact@readingspots.org.

Who are we looking for?

  • These are extremely rewarding opportunities for individuals with a clear passion for improving access to educational resources in Ghana and improving global understanding through education. Applicants must be self-starters, independent, driven, pro-active, creative and committed.
  • Applicants may either be looking to strengthen their experience in international development, or global learning, or may be experienced candidates wanting to contribute to the development of this innovative project in their spare time. This opportunity is open to everyone irrespective of age, country, or years of experience.
  • We envisage that the position would require the minimum of the equivalent of one day’s work a week (or two evenings), equating to roughly 8 hours a week. However, if you think your skills and experience would have a real impact, but can offer a little less time, please do get in touch. For these roles, candidates would work remotely from home, and will require a laptop and access to wifi.
  • We hope that all applicants can commit to a minimum of 6 months and will be keen to develop a longer term interest in the project. We will interview selected candidates in August via Skype or in person and may appoint ahead of the deadline. All successful candidates will report directly to Cat Davison (Chairwoman) on a regular basis, and will be subject to a review after 3 months.
  • Interested candidates should send a CV and covering letter addressed to Miss Cat Davison at contact@readingspots.org by 10th August 2018, indicating which specific role or roles they would like to be considered for. The role can start asap, but no later than September 2018.

Specific areas of responsibility required:

The bullet points beneath each indicate some areas of responsibility, although these can be shaped by the candidates own interest and experience.  

Supporting Fundraising

  • Completing trust fund applications from a given list, and researching new funding opportunities.
  • Supporting all those fundraising for the charity.
  • Writing to UK and Ghanaian businesses for support.
  • Supporting UK fundraising events.
  • Completing a regular analysis of sources of fundraising.
  • Thinking of further ways to generate income for the projects.

Supporting Communications

  • Updating the website regularly.
  • Interviewing volunteers and local leaders to share stories from the projects.
  • Overseeing social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Developing further ways to improve understanding and awareness of the Reading Spots project.
  • Communicating new ideas and news within the Reading Spots volunteer and leadership networks.
  • Reviewing key policies (e.g, data protection policy)

Supporting Education (Ghana)

  • Developing low-cost methods for improving the impact of the Reading Spots, in discussion with local communities.
  • Offering support and training to librarians (e.g. methods to support early stages of reading, and ways to engage both youth and adult communities in reading)
  • Sending a weekly ‘idea of the week’ through to the Reading Spots leaders What’sApp group.
  • Mentoring our youth ‘Change-Makers’ – those who have received £1000 grants to create a change in their community from African Science Academy.

Supporting Partnerships (Ghanaian)

  • Developing a formal process through which communities can apply for grants.
  • Developing partnerships with Ghanaian organisations.
  • Helping to develop the ‘Friends of Reading Spots’ group, and our wider volunteer network.

Supporting Education (UK)  

  • Liaising with all UK schools supporting the Reading Spots project.
  • Developing new contacts with UK and international schools.
  • Supporting the development of the online development course.
  • Supporting with the education delivered in UK schools about the project.
  • Supporting the bi-annual book drives.
  • Supporting the volunteer trips to Ghana.
  • Organising joint volunteer events.
  • Developing partnerships with other UK organisations.

For the right candidates, we may be able to offer support with holding a research project in Ghana as part of an undergraduate or MA dissertation. We may choose multiple candidates to fill each role, depending on the quality of applications.

If there is any other way in which you think you might be able to help, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We see Reading Spots as a collaborative project, and welcome new ideas and areas of future development. We would consider creating other roles if there is a specific area that you could contribute to that is not listed. We can also organise visits to Ghana for the successful candidates, but cannot afford to pay for costs at this time due to our desire to send all the money raised directly to our projects. 

Drama Club members in Akumadan!
The librarian, Alice, teaching pupils to read in Tease!
Pupils at Abofour queue up to borrow books!

 

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