Ghanaian writer and reporter Portia Arthur of Pulse Ghana is on a mission with her latest book Against The Odds, the mother of two is the head of the health and lifestyle desk in the newsroom.
Often there is a difficulty in distinguishing between a writer and an author – Portia is both. Not only does she write as a career, but she also authors to impact on her society.
The 29-year-old is on a one-man mission to cultivate a culture of reading among Ghanaian children, especially those living in deprived areas. In July 2018, she launched her first book titled “Against The Odds”.
The book was launched as part of her “Book Per Child” project which aims to inspire the next generation of children through reading. By extension, the project also supports brilliant but needy students to climb the ladder of education.
“The Book Per Child project was realised when I interviewed some pupils who were left stranded as two schools fought over a classroom,” Portia explains.
“The said school was in a deplorable state and lacked basic educational materials. As a social responsibility to my community (Kokrobite), I decided to establish the Book Per Child project to support some schools in my locality with books and sponsor the brilliant but needed pupils.”
Last year she began the distribution of her books to some students and churches in a bid to instil the culture of reading. The project is currently in its formative years, but the long-term goal is to help as many pupils nurture their writing skills.
In the immediate, though, Portia hopes to be able to raise enough funds to build a fully-stocked library in her community.
“Book Per Child seeks to encourage reading among pupils, support them with educational materials and establish reading clubs in various schools and churches. It is my dream to open a library in my community; stock it with African books, encourage pupils to write and to also help them with publishing,” she says.
As someone who studied Publishing at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Portia intends to continue using books and novels to inspire the next generation.
Having put on hold her childhood dream of becoming a medical doctor, the author says she plans to now undertake projects which tackle children and adult health.
“I wanted to be a medical doctor and that dream hasn’t faded out yet,” she divulges. “My new project would be more like a health guide for parents and kids. An intriguing book series about an African child; an adventurous journey to become a teen.”
In the immediate future, though, Portia is looking to publish her second book which she says centres on love, family and religion.
“I am working on a novel for young adults which talks about love and pregnancy, family and religion. As mentioned earlier, a book series for toddlers is also in the pipeline,” she added.