Ghanaian-Librarian, Hayford Siaw, has been awarded the 15th Commonwealth Point of Light in honour of his exceptionally voluntary service in combating illiteracy in Ghana.
The honour was conferred on him by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, in the run-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on 19 -20 April, 2018.
The queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – used the occasion to thank inspirational volunteers across the 52 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
Mr. Siaw, founder of the first ‘Electronic Library On Wheels’ in West Africa and Chief Executive of the Ghana Library Authority, received a personalized certificate, signed by the Queen and presented by the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker.
“We usually have to apply for almost everything, and so it’s a great feeling not to apply for something but to be independently nominated and selected for this recognition,” elated Mr. Siaw said.
The mobile library, which is active in more than 30 communities across the country, imparts knowledge in more than 18,000 children a year via vans with computers, tablets and e-readers.
He said that he had engaged in this endeavour with private funding for the past six years; but there was now the opportunity to do it for the nation, with the backing of the state.
“I am deeply honoured and hope this will inspire many people in the Commonwealth to be focused and diligent in delivering change in their communities. There is always someone out there watching and reading about your work,” he added.
Mr Walker urged the public to celebrate Mr Siaw’s success, and highlight what he has done because he is a source of inspiration and a role model for Ghana and the Commonwealth.
“Hayford Siaw started with just a car, some books and a big dream, to combat illiteracy rates among Ghanaian children with a mobile library,” he stated.