Meet Kofi Amouzou the author of KOFI, A CHILD OF LAVIÉ – an authentic story of an African boy’s quest for education. Kofi grew up in a remote village named Lavié, a collection of mud and clay houses with straw or tin roofs built into the African hills of Togo. Every day, when they weren’t in school, he and his six siblings made the two-hour walk in flip-flops to the farm to help with back breaking work. In the evenings they danced to the rhythms and melodies of the nightly drum circle. Percussion from wood-carved drums, the calling of cowbells, and the wailing cries of bugles punctuated the dusk. On Sundays, they washed their clothes and bathed in the town stream after worshipping publicly in church and privately to the legba, the gods that were in everything: the fire, the rocks and the trees. Their elementary school was a public school, but it wasn’t free. It had a school fee of one dollar a year per student. Coming up with seven dollars a year presented a real hardship for subsistence farmers like his mother and father. Kofi was therefore in perpetual fear that they couldn’t pay to keep him in school. Through the years, his mother and father used their ingenuity to pay the fees, turning unsold cassava into more marketable gari; doing logging work; and even, taking a turn as a magician. When Kofi was thirteen, what he had long been afraid of actually happened; there was no more money to pay the fees. Out of school and facing a future without that important education, he drifted into despair. What happened next could only have happened in Lavié. In KOFI, A CHILD OF LAVIÉ, you will read the thrilling story of how Lavié came to rescue Kofi in an unexpected way. Here is just one review by a teacher in the United States:
“As an educator in the United States, I am excited for the possibilities this book offers for teachers and students to think and act as global citizens. Kofi, a Child of Lavié offers the opportunity for rich classroom discussions about the value of an education, cultural similarities and differences, and perseverance in the face of adversity. I highly recommend that all educators read this book; it will leave you feeling inspired and taking nothing for granted.”
Kofi is the co-founder of The Children of Lavie Inc, a grassroots non-profit organization with a singular mission: Planting the seeds of change by helping children, who otherwise would not be able to complete or get an education, to fulfill their dream of learning to read and write. What The Children of Lavié does lies in transforming lives from the ground up, drawing from Kofi’s own experience growing up in Lavié. Their clear and concise video message is found at www.thechildrenoflavie.org The Children of Lavié has already enabled 1700 children from Lavié and other villages to go to school. Four of these young adults are now in college. The organization current project of priority is to build a library that is desperately needed in the small West African village of Lavié. They have arranged to get electricity to the village. They have also set up some computers in an abandoned room and provided some books. But it is not enough. They want to build a library. Li-Saltzman Architects in New York has designed a building and will build the library if the organization can raise the money.
All proceeds from the book are going to fund the library. Kofi, a Child of Lavié is currently on the list of Amazon’s top 100 Best Sellers in Teen & Young Adult Cultural Heritage Biography eBooks, just behind Twelve Years a Slave. The book is available Barnes and Noble too.