In collaboration with WestWords, the AAAC ran an African Literature Development program consisting of a comprehensive program of intended workshops, events and writing groups online. The African Australian Literature Development Program (AALDP) is an initiative to support, develop, share and celebrate the richness of the stories of African Australians within the multi-cultural context of Western Sydney. The program is run by African Australian Advocacy Centre and the WestWords and supported by the Adès Family Foundation. It uses stories to create a bridge of understanding and empathy between communities and generations, and to create a sense of belonging and pride for people aged 8 years and above.
Due to COVID-19, 2020/2021 was a year of difficulty where acts of community building and skills development radically changed. We moved a comprehensive program of intended workshops, events and writing groups online. This resulted in us facilitating four focus groups on fiction and non-fiction, graphic novels and comics, writing for children, and poetry. This first publication called “smile cross the oceans" marks the culmination of the first of three years for the program.
We are presently recruiting the second round of participants of the three rounds in this project and the current round of participants have completed the anthology of works which was released in December 2020.
The AAAC provided translations for the children’s book “Where Happiness Hides”. This book by Anthony Bertini, is a gift to the children of the worlds during social isolation for the duration of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. It was translated into multiple languages, with the AAAC participating in the project by translating the book into six (6) African languages including Dinka, Swahili, Afaan, Oromoo, Igbo, Kinyarwanda and Amharic.
On behalf of the AAAC, I would like to thank Westwords and Ades foundation for this incredible project and partnership and wish all current and future participants well with their creations.