Friday, December 13, 2013

Supporting Old Ebu-Brebia

ISABT is thrilled to support the students of Old Ebu-Brebia with a donation of Pencils, Pens, Erasers, Sharpers and Work Books. Good luck with your studies and keep up the great work!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Join our Facebook Community

Dear Friends,

If you have not done so already, please consider "liking" our FaceBbook page to keep up to date with the African publishing, classroom donation, and volunteer programs currently running in Africa. Your support is appreciated!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Partner with ISABT

Dear Friends,

We have just updated our Partner Page on the main site.


We love collaboration and we are always looking to partner with good-hearted people who want to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children.

There are many ways that you can join our team; volunteering at home or abroad, helping with fundraising, collecting and donating high quality reading books and materials, helping to market our message of "Education for All", editing stories from Africa, and helping to grow the educational programs world wide.

Thank you to all of our friends and supporters!

Friday, November 29, 2013

UPDATE: Pencils for Africa project

ISABT.ORG is donating much needed classroom materials to schools in Ghana. This project is based on research conducted with Parents, Students, Schools, Faculty, and PTA groups in Africa. When asked what would be most beneficial for their students, the overwhelming response was to provide them with writing materials (above books, computers, and other resources). We are thankful to be of help to these hardworking students in Africa.

 Some Thank You letters from the donor recipients:

Many more Thank You Letters are posted here:

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Power of a Story

Please enjoy this wonderful write-up by Book Club International Program Director Sue Ron-Gonzalez about the empowering programs run this summer in Ghana, West Africa.

"This summer I had an amazing opportunity, thanks to AllPeopleBeHappy Foundation, Tomorrow’s Stars and ISABT, to launch the Adehye Girls Club in Elmina, Ghana.  Adehye means “royal” in Fante. The name was chosen because we want the girls to take pride in their lives. For four weeks, 50 girls, ages 10-16, learned about teenage pregnancy prevention, health-related issues and many other valuable life skills.

One of the highlights of the summer was the field trip to Kakum Rainforest. The day started with each girl receiving their own Adehye Girls Club shirt. They filled into the school library to change their clothes, brush and decorate their hair with barrettes and spray themselves with perfume! You could feel the excitement buzzing in the library! We rented a van and a huge diesel truck to take the 1 hour trip to Kakum. To get into the truck you had to climb a ladder and then grab a seat on a bench. As we bounced around in this truck, the girls sang and danced for the full hour. It’s difficult to put into words the positive energy I felt inside that truck. Being surrounded by beautiful music and happy faces filled my own heart with joy. We began walking through Kakum, listening to the guide speak about its history. When we reached the canopy walks, 400 ft. high amidst the trees, the girl’s nerves began to show in their faces and movements. We talked about the importance of overcoming fears, bravery and pride in accomplishing challenges in life. I was so proud of these girls as they made their way through seven canopy walkways! This trip provided an important bonding experience for the group that will help to cement their friendships and support for each other. On the bus ride home, the girls giggled with bright smiling faces as they talked about how they overcame their fear of walking the canopies. Within 15 minutes of the bus ride, most of them fell asleep! It was truly an uplifting, fulfilling day.

Although I have been writing stories with students in Ghana for the past few years, this summer I came to understand just how valuable this process is. Since most of the educational system in Ghana is rote learning and call and response, the students feel a sense of autonomy and pride when they are allowed to write creative stories.  In addition, with class sizes often at 40 or more, students do not often have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings. When I tried to discuss sensitive issues with the girls regarding how they felt about challenges they face, they were often silent. They weren’t accustomed to sharing their feelings in a classroom setting. But through their written stories, I learned about their worries and fears of what may happen if they became pregnant as a teen. Their stories often did not have a happy ending.

Portia is one of the students at Bantuma who has been writing stories for me for the past few years. A year ago, she completed her schooling at Bantuma but hadn’t been accepted to any high school. She told me that she desperately wanted to go back to school, so I accompanied her to the district office to see if she could get an application for high school.  Another young man who had also written stories for me, Emmanuel, was also waiting to get an application. When we finally got to meet the person in charge of the applications, he told both students that they weren’t smart enough to attend high school because of their low test scores and that they didn’t try hard enough to learn. Despite being humiliated by this man, Portia and Emmanuel walked proudly out of the office. I turned to Portia and asked her why she wanted to attend high school and college.  She looked intently at me and said that she wanted to be a story writer, a journalist.  It was at this moment that I understood the power of a story. Portia may not have had the highest test scores or grades, but she felt empowered enough to continue her education because of her positive experiences writing stories for the international book club. Emmanuel then went on to tell me how much he loves to go on  to read the story he wrote two years ago. He doesn’t have access to a computer so he uses his small cell phone to read his story.

For our end of the summer celebration, we had our traditional feast of Eli’s meat pies with soda. Each girl was given a copy of her story, and laminated stories were given to the Bantuma School library. The students had the opportunity to read each other’s’ stories and share their feelings about what it meant to be a member of the Adehye Girls Club. At first, the girls were reluctant to speak. Cecilia was one of the first girls to speak up. We told her that she was a warrior because it takes courage to stand up and share a part of yourself with your peers and teachers. Slowly, other girls also began to take pride in speaking up. The teachers reminded them of the importance of finding your own voice in life and speaking up for what you believe in.
Teaching these extraordinary girls in Ghana that their stories are important and need to be told can have such a profound impact on their education and life. Every year a girl stays in school, she delays pregnancy and marriage. These girls may not have access to many educational materials or opportunities, but they do have their own stories that they can share as a way to create growth, learning and a sense of connection in their lives. I recently read somewhere that a story is data with a soul. This summer, I was overjoyed to get a glimpse into the beauty of these girls’ souls through their stories."

-Sue Ron-Gonzalez

Monday, August 5, 2013

Power of Writing

We have a lot to report from this summer's projects! While the updates are being drafted on the donation to schools in Ho, our new Pencil drive, and the summer writing workshop I wanted to share a short story that highlights the importance of programs like Book Club International to students in Africa. The following message is from Sue Gonzalez our volunteer who ran programs in Ghana this summer:

“I am trying to sponsor a girl who was in the book club two years ago and wrote the teen pregnancy story last year. We got to see the director of education. He told Portia that she wasn't smart enough, determined enough or had the scores to attend school. We both pleaded with him that her headmaster never gave her an application!

I told the director how she was a wonderful writer and participated in the book club for the past few years. He told her that it was too late and the time has passed. Finally, another guy came and said that if I paid 5 Cedes ($3) I could get an application. We got the application! As we walked out, I asked Portia what she wanted to study in University. She told me that she wanted to become a storywriter, a journalist. That's the power of the book club project!!!”

Imagine if you were told you were too stupid to attend high school. Imagine if you were not allowed to go to school based on some old man’s opinion. Our programs are geared to help just such students. We believe every child has the right to an education, not just the privileged or high score students.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another successful summer project!

I.S.A.B.T. summer volunteer Sue is back and happy to report another successful summer project.!

A full report will be coming shortly, but in the meantime please enjoy this picture of some of the happy recipients of our new Pencils for Africa project.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


I.S.A.B.T. is happy to announce our latest program: PENCILS for AFRICA!

Research conducted with students, teachers, and Headmasters in Africa has clearly indicated the value of pencils and pens in the classroom. In fact, it was often stated that if one item could be brought into the classroom, the simple pencil would provide the maximum impact. Unfortunately, financial situations in Africa dictates that many students are left without the means to write and take notes in the classroom effectively. This can impact their education dramatically.

We have begun working with Lantern Projects and a 4th grade class in California to provide students in Africa with Pens and Pencils. So far we have raised significant donations, enough to purchase well over 6,000 pencils!

We are organizing the distribution of this donation to six schools in Ghana, West Africa during the summer. Please consider joining this important project and stay tuned for more news as this program grows.

If you would like more information please contact us and consider making a donation here.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ghana Shipment has Arrived!

I.S.A.B.T. is happy to announce that our latest shipment of 140 boxes of prime teaching materials has arrived in Ghana and cleared customs!

We have just received pictures from the delivery to one of the three schools that we are working with; the Bishop Forson School in the Volta region. The Bishop Forson School Complex opened in 2003 with six teachers and eight pupils. It was founded by Rev. Forson Glover who grew up in rural Ghana and faced many challenges in his own quest for an education. 

BFSC is located in the Kpando District along the Volta Lake. Currently there are approximately 21 teachers and 9 non-teaching staff members working at the school where 250 children attend.


In advance of the shipment, we worked closely with Pagus:Africa to ensure the materials were matched with the correct schools and programs to maximize impact. Volunteers are working with the school teachers and administration to ensure proper training is conducted.

Materials have already been delivered to the three schools. Please stay tuned for more updates on this exciting project.

If you would like to learn more about Pagus:Africa's work please visit their website and consider making a donation here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Worldreader in East Africa

Dear Friends,

I hope you enjoy this picture that we received from today from

This is David Risher (CEO and Co-Founder of Worldreader) holding up a Kindle displaying one of our author's stories from the Book Club International  program. We are so happy to be partnering with such a meaningful organization; they are making a true difference in the world.

For more on David and his wonderful work with World Reader, please visit

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I.S.A.B.T. Partners with World Reader!

NEWS: I.S.A.B.T. is now partnering with World Reader!

Dear Friends, 

I.S.A.B.T. is excited to announce a new partnership with the brilliant organization Worldreader!

Worldreader works with schools, teachers, and students in Africa to provide them with access to vast libraries of educational e-books through their kindle and app for mobile phones program.

I.S.A.B.T. is now providing e-books and stories, written by African children from our Book Club International programs, to add to the Worldreader library. Ultimately, this means that the I.S.A.B.T. library of stories authored by our students in Africa will now be available to participants of the Worldreader Kindle programs globally.

As of February 2013; Worldreader has distributed over 441,000 digital books to children and teachers across ten e-reader projects in five African countriesMany of the books in the world reader program come from Africa Publishers. 

Please stay tuned for updates on this new project!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Shipment On The Way To Schools In Ghana!

An anonymous donor has contributed 140 boxes of prime teaching materials to schools that I.S.A.B.T. works with in Ghana!

Materials include History, Math, and Science books, dictionaries, hundreds of leveled reading books, teaching aids, reference books, math and science tools, microscopes, scissors, pencils... the list goes on. For a full inventory of materials please click here.

We have worked closely with the donor school teachers and volunteers to sort and divide these valuable materials for maximum impact. The shipment has been timed to arrive and coincide with the deployment of Pagus Africa volunteers working with the schools in Ghana this summer.

Special thanks to the I.S.A.B.T. donors as well as to Ellen Berenholz and Pagus Africa  for their help with coordinating this project. Stay tuned for more on this story...

I.S.A.B.T. Welcomes New Member To The Board

I.S.A.B.T. is happy to welcome Michael Boampong to the Board of Directors!

Michael is the Founder of the Ghanaian-based NGO Young People We Care (YPWC) where he currently serves as Board Member and Advisor. He is an ardent believer in youth empowerment and believes that if the youth are not empowered now, the world will not realize any meaningful development.

He is passionate about social entrepreneurship, social networks for development, youth development, migration and development, imagination, and making a difference. Michael has work experience with international organizations such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and UNICEF Rural Voices of Youth and currently works for the United Nations in New York City. To learn more about Michael, visit:

Michael's experience, passion, and dedication to excellence will be a huge help to our organization as we plan for the future. Akwaaba Michael!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

5 New Books in from Jukwa, Ghana

Five new stories from "The Best Part of My Life" series have come in from the summer project Book Club volunteer Sue Gonzalez ran in Jukwa, Ghana. They are poignant and insightful. Here is a quote from Hagar Nyarkoh's story;

"The best part of my family is my mother who is called Sister Naana.  My mother is dark in complexion and has long, black hair on her head. We always call her Dark Mama.  My mother is short and she sells frying fish in the market every night.

The reason why I like my mum is that she takes care of me and provides my needs when my father refused to do so. She tells me Ananse stories and everytime she advises me, she always says, "A word to the wise is enough!" I like my mum because she helps me to do my house work, homework and prepare my meals.

The food my mother likes best is FuFu and Groundnut soup. My mother is very smart and very kind to everyone. That is why my mother is the best part of my family!"

You can read the stories from Jukwa here;

and read more about "The Best Part of My Life" project here;