African Folktales Project: Indigenous wisdom reimagined as modern day stories for kids worldwide

The African Folktales Project (AFP) is an open-sourced resource “offering the gift of African oral storytelling to young children and worldwide”.

An ongoing initiative, The AFP is a growing bank of stories that promote sustainable development, collected from indigenous communities in Africa.

Reimagined for all children and global educators around the world, the stories are intended to encourage all learners and educators to expand their knowledge by incorporating informal, indigenous knowledge systems into mainstream education.

Each story takes the crux of an African folktale – the characters and the moral of the original story – and puts them in a modern day setting so that the stories can be retold to children anywhere in the world and it resonate with them.

The stories, which are presented to school children online and in-person as well as via a podcast, serves as “an invitation to embed environmental conservation into our daily lives by cultivating ways to listen to what the earth is demanding of its citizens”.

Inspired by a story about a hummingbird that saved a burning forest with tiny droplets of water, The AFP was created by Kenyan-born former journalist and writer, Wakanyi Hoffman. She writes: “As a storytelling mother, I now understand the educational value of these folk tales. I see how the plot conveys lessons about human survival on this planet. References of drought-resistant plant species that evolved with the changing climate are intricately weaved through these engaging stories.

“I believe that storytelling is the most authentic form of self-expression and has the power to heal differences among cultures and unite the world to promote global citizenship.

“The AFP envisions a future generation of global citizens who will be fully equipped with the essential knowledge required to live in harmony in this world and beyond. It is also our mission to inspire the next generation of storytellers to continue passing down these practices, knowledge and wisdom, to continue advancing a culture of protecting our shared planet.”

The African Folktales Project

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living

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