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CODE Enhancing Literature Access in Africa

CODE (Canadian Organization for Development through Education) is based in Canada. Created to help international areas in need of education, CODE focuses on “advancing literacy and education” in areas in need (CODE). CODE started off by shipping unused books to schools in Africa because they saw a need and wanted to fill that need. Today, CODE supports international authors and continues to spread education to areas in need. In 2017, CODE launched an award for African Young Adult literature to better support authors and help them be heard in schools across Africa. To Kiss a Girl by Ruby Yayra Goka was the recipient of the award this year.

The CODE Burt Award is for African authors who write young adult fiction. “The objective of the prize is to champion literacy, build language skills, and foster the love and habit of reading by ensuring that young people have access to high-quality, culturally relevant, and engaging reading materials” (CODE). This award is helping children experience diverse, locally relevant literature in areas they may not have access to good education or books.

CODE also supports professional development for teachers, local publishing, and continues to donate books to libraries in need of good books for the students in the area. CODE has expanded to work in the Caribbean, plus the 8 countries in Africa. Their continued support has grown each country’s library tremendously. In Ethiopia alone, 300,000 books have been donated to libraries across the country. CODE’s main goal is to “ensure longterm sustainability” in education so that students without access to literature and stable education can continue to learn and hopefully educate others in the future. Books these students have access to need to reflect the lives they live, so that they can relate to literature and get excited to learn.

Works Cited

Global Affairs Canada, editor. “Who We Are.” CODE, 2018, code.ngo/who-we-are.