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Somerville Ghana Library Project

A project by: Angelica Lindsey-Clark


WE RAISED £9,453

from 107 donors

This project received pledges on Mon 08 Jun 2015
Build a library, build a future

What is the Somerville Ghana Library Project?

In 2003, a free public library sprung up in Ghana’s Cape Coast, and has been used by hundreds of adults and children over the past decade. 'Molly's Library' was born of a friendship between Somerville student Hattie Begg, who volunteered in Ghana, and the wonderful host of the library Molly Yankey. Together they wanted to create a learning resource centre for the local community that they hoped would help fight illiteracy by providing access to materials and a space for learning. 

Hattie gathered a group of friends and supporters at Somerville College, and they managed to collect over 6000 donated books and raise funds to ship them to Molly.  Almost every year since Somerville students have been welcomed back by Molly.  They bring materials, assist the librarians and help teach English in the summers, as well as raising funds annually to pay the ongoing running costs.  Molly's Library is an educational resource for people of all ages, giving access to textbooks, fiction, drama and foreign language books. Used by over 300 people each week, the library is now at the heart of the community.

Photos: Trip to Molly's Library in 2009

We need your help

The building that Molly used for the library since 2003 is no longer available for rent. The library is currently stored in a temporary location, but this building is unsuitable, with little space for books or for people to read them. A plot of land adjacent to the local school has been purchased with support raised by Somerville students.  Now, we hope raise the funds to enable the construction of a new and permanent library.  

Plans for the building include a teaching room, reading room, washroom, storeroom and a small office. Split into three stages, the build will begin with the foundations, move to the framework of the building and the completion stage will provide windows, doors, plumbing and painting. Our minimum target is that required for the first two stages. The total goal would cover the full cost building the library. If we are successful, any additional funds will go towards new library resources, such as new furniture, additional books, and even a computer. We need your help to build a permanent library, and invest in the future of a whole community!


Photos: The temporary library 

What we’ve done so far

Somerville students have come together and shown their huge support for this project. We have been holding raffles, bake sales, karaokes, jumper sales and whatever else we can think of to raise as much money as possible. Together, the Somerville undergraduates (JCR) have created an impressive £3,000 to offer as a match for those first gifts of support.

Why is it important?

According to UNICEF, 28.5% of people aged 15 and over in Ghana are illiterate, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development placed Ghana at the very bottom of its global school ranking. Access to books and materials is a major factor; the next nearest public library to Molly's is more than a 12km walk away. Unfortunately, the temporary accommodation is only a short-term solution.  Unless we can help create a permanent space to house the library, Molly's Library will soon cease to be the valuable resource in the community it has become over the last decade. Please give what you can to help Molly and her community keep the library they love.

Photos: Trip to Molly's Library in 2012

Help us succeed!

If you can’t donate, but still want to get involved, you can help Molly by spreading the word and sharing this project with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, email and all other social media.  Your support means so much - providing access to books and learning for a community has an immeasurably positive behavioural, psychological and educational impact.  Thank you very much for your help.


Find us here:

You can follow us here to keep up to date on our progress!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/somervillecollegeghanalibraryproject

Instagram: https://instagram.com/somervilleghanalibrary/

Blog: https://somervilleghanalibraryproject.wordpress.com/


1 year, 6 months ago

The library has a roof!

We're very happy to announce that the library is now onto its final stage of construction. All that's left to do now is to decorate and furnish the new library. There are lots of students keen to visit this summer who would like to bring over some new books and to add the finishing touches. 

All that's left to say now is a massive thank-you to everyone who helped us get this far. We are so thankful to every single person who contributed to this project - we couldn't have done it without you.

2 years, 1 month ago

We did it!

Thank-you so much to everyone who donated and helped us reach our goal! It's been amazing to see such massive support for this project and we're really excited to start building. The rewards will be sent out around October time when we have started construction and after the student visit this September. 

We're looking forward to updating you all with the progress!

Thank-you so much for your generosity. 

2 years, 1 month ago

Only 3 left! Thank-you so much to everyone who has sponsored us so far. It has been amazing to see such huge support for this project. We're only £1,100 away from our target now - you can help us reach our goal by sharing this project with friends and family. We're really close now!

Thank-you everyone for your help - this library will make a massive difference to a community in Ghana for decades to come.

JCRSomerville matchfunded £3000


caused 2 donations totalling £12.00


generated 133 clicks and donated

Julie Dickson

generated 118 clicks and donated £50.00

Ellie Gardner

generated 106 clicks and donated £2.00

Pauline Chatelan

generated 83 clicks and donated £10.00

Peter Begg

donated £500.00

JCR Jumpers

donated £376.00

Alice Prochaska

donated £250.00

Somerville SCR

donated £220.00


donated £150.00

Somerville Bake Sale

donated £149.15

Somerville JCR

donated £141.00


donated £100.00


donated £100.00

Gerd Wolman

donated £75.00

Madeleine Dimitroff

donated £50.00


donated £50.00

Laurie Bennett

donated £50.00


donated £50.00

Somerville Karaoke

donated £25.50


donated £25.00

Jeff Martin

donated £25.00

Josie Messa

donated £25.00


donated £25.00


donated £25.00

H Weightman

donated £20.00

Jennifer Allan

donated £10.00

Sarah Bridge

donated £10.00

Janine DeFeo

donated £10.00

Nina Faure Beaulieu

donated £10.00


donated £10.00

Tamanna Khan

donated £10.00

Clare Finch

donated £10.00


donated £10.00


donated £10.00


donated £7.00


donated £5.00

Sarah Zaidi

donated £3.00

Harry Bush

donated £2.00

Luke Charters

donated £2.00

Margaret Casely-Hayford




Matthew Lindsey-Clark


Eunice Lord


Tessa Begg






Anna Clark


Jonathan May

followed this project

Shan Huang

signed up to help

23 anonymous donations totalling £1102.07

Only project creators and their sponsors can post comments.

Hope it works this time. Frances

Good luck - from Mansfield college!

This is getting exciting - you are so close to your target - what a fantastic project - good luck

With 4 days left to go, we've only for £1,100 left to raise! Help us reach our target by sharing the crowdfunding page with friends and family. We're so close now!

Well done and what a fantastic project!

Keep up the good work!

Well deserved and build the walls solidly!


Well done on such a great campaign guys, good luck xxx

Best of luck.

Literacy is the cornerstone of education, and education is the cornerstone of a better life both for individuals and society at large. To this end, libraries are indispensable. Not only every book, but every brick is worth investing in. Best of luck with this fantastic project.

Good luck!