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Annotated Bibliography
Children of Africa


Resources for Adult Study

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Children of Africa: Restoring the Village. By Jackie Onwu with Study Guide by Anne Leo Ellis. English $6.95, Service Center #2860; Korean $3.50, Service Center #2861.

   This study builds on the Bishop's Appeal: "Hope for the Children of Africa." The text is written out of the experience in Africa of a United Methodist missionary and invites the reader to appreciate the crises faced by many children on that continent. Yet through the efforts of United Methodists in Africa and the United States there is hope for children and their families. The study guide offers worship, Bible study, class activities and suggestions for action plans to assist leaders as they engage participants in learning about and responding to the concerns raised in the text.


Map 'n' Facts: Children of Africa. $8.95. Service Center #2875.

   Multi-colored map of Africa similar to the one used six years ago for the study on "African Churches Speak". Panels on the back present updated facts related to Children of Africa and United Methodist emphasis.

Hope for Children of Africa. Video. $29.95. Service Center #2905.

   Video highlights concerns and activities related to Bishop's Appeal: "Hope for the Children of Africa."

Special Issue Response magazine, May 2000. Service Center $1.50.

Special Issue New World Outlook, May/June 2000. Service Center $3.00

Africa - Praise I. Songbook $5.95. Service Center #2783. Cassette $8.95. Service Center #2564. CD $12.95. Service Center #2563.

   Songbook is a congregational and choral edition that contains the songs from eight African nations on the Africa Praise I recording. Recordings are songs of faith in 12 languages from nine African countries performed by Africa University Choir.

   See also: Jesu tawa pano (Jesus, we are here): The words and music to one of the songs from this songbook.

Resources for Children's Study

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Under the Baobab Tree: Children of Africa. By Brenda Wilkinson. Illustrated by Tom Feelings. Single copy $4.00; 10 or more copies $3.20 each. Service Center #2872.

   This magazine designed for children 7 to 12 offers an overview of the continent of Africa with focus on its history and culture as it relates to the lives of children. Written by noted children's author, Brenda Wilkinson, and illustrated by the award-winning children's illustrator, Tom Feelings, it acknowledges Africa's contributions to the world in art and literature. It contains stories, songs and a variety of activities and shows how the church and persons of good will are working to improve the quality of life for children living in the midst of war and poverty.

Teacher's Guide to Under the Baobab Tree. By Brenda Wilkinson. $5.95. Service Center #2873.

   This guide gives instructions on how to present a six-part study to elementary age children. It includes designs for African arts and crafts, an essay by the author on the importance of the study of Africa, suggestions for a festive event and more.

African Tales. 1992 video. $29.95. Service Center #2081.

   Suitable for young children and the young at heart this video contains three African fables illustrated with watercolor drawings by Deus Tumbago and Lisa Bade. Each is introduced by a young man from South Africa who explains how animal tales are used to pass on cultural traditions and important lessons in African society.

Understanding Present Conditions

Ayittey, George B.N. Africa in Chaos. Griffin, 1999. $18.95

   Proposes that solid, long-term investment from Europe and America is needed to lift the motherland out of its mire. His "Ten Commandments for African Intellectuals," intended to lead the way to success, include calls for an embrace of the African past, a relationship with the private sector, and consistent freedom of expression.

Asrat, Dereje. Children on the Front Line: The Impact of Apartheid, Destabilization and Warfare on Children in Southern and South Africa. United Nations Children Fund, 1989

Colletta, Nat J, and Jayshree Balachander, Xioyan Liang. The Condition of Young Children in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Convergence of Health, Nutrition, and Early Education. (World Bank Technical Paper, No 326.) World Bank, 1996. $22.00

   Considers socioeconomic indicators and trends affecting child survival and development, the status of children in sub-Saharan Africa, and what early childhood development programs do.

Colletta, Nat J. and Amy Jo Reinhold A Review of Early Childhood Policy and Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. (World Bank Technical Paper, No 367) World Bank, 1997. $20.00

   Considers approaches to early childhood development policy and provisions of programs that build on local culture, organize at grassroots, have local leaders, are sustainable, and involve cooperation across nations

Diawara, Manthia. In Search of Africa. Harvard, 1998. $27.95

   Explores what Africa needs to do to catch up. Critiques some practices of the past while not overlooking the horrible historical impact of the slave trade and European colonialism, Diawara also blames internal corruption and dangerous African ethnic customs, like female genital mutilation, for his country's underdevelopment. Ultimately, however, he remains confident that this people will one day ascend to their full political, economic, and cultural potential.

Ewbank, Douglas C. and James N. Gribble, eds. Effects of Health Programs on Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Population Dynamics of Sub-Saharan Africa) National Academy Press, 1993. $33.00

Gates, Henry Louis. Wonders of the African World. Knopf, 1999. $40.00

   Gates uses his trip to investigate the promise and perils of contemporary Africa, considering, among other issues, the unifying potential of the Swahili language and black complicity in the slave trade. Gates also takes aim at the Enlightenment, the subsequent colonialist occupations by European nations.

Gordon, Lewis R . Her Majesty's Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age. Rowman and Littlefield, 1997. $67.00

   Explores race, racism, and identity that emerge from colonialism.

Graça, Machel. Statement of the First Regional Consultation on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 1995.

   See also: Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, Report of Graça Machel, Expert of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Selected Highlights.

Gourevitch, Philip We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. Picador USA, 1999. $15.00

   In April 1994, the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority. Over the next three months 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. An unforgettable account of what it means to survive in its aftermath and raises questions for the world about our roles.

Griffiths, Jeuan LL. The Atlas of African . Routledge, 1994. $25.99

Lancaster, Carol. Aid To Africa: So Much to Do, So Little Done. Univ. of Chicago Press, 1999. $22

   Investigates the impact of bureaucratic politics, special interest groups, and public opinion in aid-giving countries and agencies. She finds that aid agencies in Africa often misdiagnosed problems, had difficulty designing appropriate programs that addressed the local political environment, and failed to coordinate their efforts effectively. Offers recommendations for fundamental changes in how governments and multilateral aid agencies can operate more effectively.

Khapoya, Vincent B. The African Experience: An Introduction. Prentice Hall College Division, 1998. $37.50

   Emphasizes norms, values, and historical experience as the key variables that define who the people are. Describes the main traditional cultural forms and institutions found in Africa. Explores the geography and demography of the African continent. Takes a critical look at how the Africans have done since they inherited or recovered political power from the European colonial masters -- the problems they have encountered, the forces that have influenced leaders in their choice of strategies in nation-building or economic development, political and economic reforms.

Larom, Margaret S, ed. Claiming the Promise: African Churches Speak. Friendship Press, 1994. $7.95

Iskander, Michel G. UNICEF in Africa South of the Sahara: A Historical Perspective. UN Children's Fund, 1987.

   In the midst of struggles with a colonial history, famine, war, and economic tribulations, Africans are bearing witness to the God of hope, and to their own strengths.

Maier, Karl. Into the House of the Ancestors: Inside the New Africa. John Wiley, 1998. $24.95

   Author says his purpose is "neither to sanitize the image of sub-Saharan Africa nor to soft-pedal its problems." Rather, he says, his goal is to provide "a balanced picture of how its peoples are summoning their tremendous inner vitality."... He introduces the reader to his subject through a rich variety of Africans, from computer scientists and doctors to guerilla fighters and traditional healers. If anything binds them together, it is not race or geography but a common struggle to construct a workable future in changed conditions.

McEvedy, Colin. The Penguin Atlas of African History. PenguinUSA, 1996. $12.76

Ncube, Welshman. Law, Culture, Tradition, and Children's Rights in Eastern and Southern Africa. Dartmouth, 1998. Contact Ashgate. $31.95

   Explores the prospects and challenges in Eastern and Southern Africa and the interplay between international human rights norms and domestic law, tradition, and culture.

Njoku, John E. Eberegbulam. African Childhood: Poor Social and Economic Environments. Edwin Mellen Press, 1993. $80

   A study on the state of perpetual poverty in which African children live, caused by the unstable and corrupt governments.

Prendergast, John and Terence Miller A Guide For Activists: Handbook on African Hunger. Center of Concern, 1992. $4.95

   Explores the colonial legacy, agricultural trade, food aid, debt, war, structural adjustment and strategies to reduce hunger.

Prendergast, John. Peace, Development, and People of the Horn of Africa. Center of Concern, 1992.

   Studies Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Somaliland looking at structural problems and signs of hope.

Prendergast, John and Karen Stohr. Similar Structures, Devastating Results: Hunger and Unemployment in the United States and Africa. Center of Concern, 1991.

   Considers economic plutocracies, free market ideologies, and war economies in both countries.

Prendergast, John The Struggle for Sudan's Soul: Political and Agrarian Roots of War and Famine Center of Concern, 1990. 3700 13th Street, NE, Washington, DC. 202-635-2757

   Discusses all the stakeholders in the issues and some transformative possibilities.

Progress of Nations, The: The Nations of the World Ranked According to their Achievements in Fulfillment of Child Rights and Progress for Women 1998 United Nations Publications. $6.95

   The Progress of Nations is an annual UNICEF report that ranks the nations of the world according to statistics reflecting the social health of children. See also the editions for 1999 and 2000. looks at children's rights, emphasizing the right to be registered at birth and hence to qualify for education, health and other social services. It also charts child immunization progress, focuses on the vulnerabilities of adolescence in developing countries and outlines the issue of homelessness in the richest nations.

Reaching the Poorest: ATD Fourth World. United Nations Publications, $15.57

   This book describes experiences in reaching marginalized communities in situations of chronic poverty, as part of ATD Fourth World and the Permanent Forum on Extreme Poverty in the World. It presents seven case studies (Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Haiti, Canada, Peru, Thailand and Uganda) and the lessons to be learned from them, with each illustrating steps taken, difficulties encountered, entry points found, some success factors and key results obtained.

Reader, John. Africa: A Biography of the Continent Vintage, 1999. $17

   Brings to light Africa's geology and evolution, the majestic array of its landforms and environments, the rich diversity of its peoples and their ways of life, the devastating legacies of slavery and colonialism as well as recent political troubles and triumphs.

Sahn, David. Structural Adjustment Reconsidered: Economic Policy and Poverty in Africa Cambridge, 1999. $22.50

   Isolates from other factors the effect of specific policy measures associated with adjustment programs. The authors suggest that contrary to common belief, adjustment policies do not harm the poor in Africa. Reforms in fact usually benefit the poor slightly, but alone are insufficient to reduce poverty significantly.

Sen, Amartya Kumar. Development As Freedom. Knopf, 1999. $27.50

   Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in economics, focuses on the tendency of Western economics to emphasize gross national product or aggregate wealth as indicators of national well-being. A more sentient measure of the usefulness and value of development is whether it expands "real freedoms that people enjoy." Sen examines other determinants of a nation's wealth, such as social and economic arrangements, political and civil rights, industrialization and technological progress and modernization, factors that can substantially contribute to expanding human freedom. However, as both a means and an end, freedom (the need for the individual to be involved in making decisions regarding his or her life) provides the foundation for well-being. Sen provides practical examples of the application of his concepts. Despite a healthy GNP in the U.S., African American men have a shorter life expectancy than men living in certain Third World countries.

Shorter, Aylward. The Church in the African City. Orbis, 1991. $20

   Considers the clash of cultures and religions, desperate poverty, AIDS, street children, pressures on traditional morality, unstable work, and the lack of training for jobs. Identifies hope and creative action possibilities.

State of the World's Children, The, 1999: "Education For All: Making the Right a Reality." United Nations Publications, 1999. $12.95 800-253-9646

   Tells the stories of a world community that is unwilling to accept the consequences of illiteracy or the denial of the human right to a quality education. With the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a guiding framework, governments, policy makers, educators, community leaders, parents and children themselves are advancing an education revolution; their goal, "Education For All." This report addresses the challenges encountered and the efforts and progress made by the international community as it strives to reach its goal. The eight tables in this report profile 193 countries. The countries are measured by basic indicators, nutritional status, health status, educational levels, demographics, economic indicators, the status of women and the rate of progress on major indicators since 1960. The State of the World's Children proposes that education is still one of the best investments a country can make in order to prosper. Available online:

State of the World's Children, The: Focus on Child Labour, 1997 $12.95 United Nations Publications. 800-253-9646

   Each year, The State of the World's Children closely examines a key issue affecting children. The 1997 Report focuses on the controversial and emotional, as well as complex and challenging issue of child Labour. It asserts that thoughtful and comprehensive attempts at solutions must be guided by the best interests of the child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Report urges an immediate end to hazardous and exploitative child labour and advocates urgent support for education so that children may acquire knowledge and skills to improve their lives. Available online:

State of the World's Children: 2000. United Nations Publications. $12.95

   Summarizes the progress made over the last decade in meeting the goals established at the 1990 World Summit for Children and discusses four daunting obstacles to full human development: HIV/AIDS, armed conflict and violence, poverty and gender discrimination. The State of the World's Children 2000 offers compelling arguments about the power of early care for children, quality education, human rights for women and children and their development. Available online:

Statistics on Children in UNICEF Assisted Countries. United Nations Publications $45.00

   This revised edition contains 137 country profiles including information on regional and child mortality group profiles in terms of child survival and development, nutrition, health, education, demographic and economic indicators.

Winslow, Philip C. Sowing the Dragon's Teeth: Land Mines and the Global Legacy of War. Beacon Press, 1998. $13

   Description of a global catastrophe seen through the perspective of the men, women, and children who daily must live with its consequence

Action Possibilities

   Contact your bishop for information on the Bishop's Appeal: "Hope for the Children of Africa." You can also visit the web site at http://gbgm-umc.org/hope/

Beckmann, David and Art Simon. Grace at the Table: Ending Hunger in God's World. Bread for the World, 1999. $11

   A primer on the causes of hunger and what we as ordinary citizens can do to end the problem at home and around the world. Written in an easy-to-read, question-and-answer format with practical strategies to effect change. Comes with a study guide.

Changing Politics of Hunger: Hunger 1999. Bread for the World, 1999. $18

   Report on the state of world hunger. The report surveys the new challenges and opportunities for ending hunger in the post-Cold War period, and concludes with seven political strategies to end hunger in the early 21st century.

Kilbourn, Phyllis, editor Children in Crisis: A New Commitment. MARC, 1996. $21.95

   Moves you to a biblical response to the crises of AIDS, abandonment, war, urban violence, girl-child discrimination and child labor.

Kilbourn, Phyllis, ed. Healing the Children of War: A Handbook for Ministry to Children Who Have Suffered Deep Traumas. MARC, 1995. $21.95

   Gives practical guidance to be of service to these children

Kilbourn, Phyllis, editor Street Children: A Guide to Effective Ministry: A Guide to Effective Ministry. MARC, 1997. $23.95

   Explains who street children are, where they can be found and why they are on the streets. A resource for those ready to respond.

Kilbride, Philip Leroy and Janet Capriotti Kilbride. Changing Family Life in East Africa: Women and Children at Risk. PA State Univ. Press, 1990.

   Deals with the quality of life issues for children in Eastern Africa

Myers, Bryant L. Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development Orbis,1999. $22

   Theology, spirituality, and social science are synthesized in how Christian mission can contribute to overcoming poverty and dismantling systemic social evil. Explores Christian views of poverty, its causes and how it is experienced differently in different cultures. Shows how the attitudes of the rest of society towards the less fortunate damage poor and nonpoor alike.

Pobee, John. West Africa: Christ Would Be An African. World Council of Churches, 1996. $5.50 (Service Center #4971)

   Reflects on what it has meant for the gospel to be proclaimed and lived out in Africa, and highlights West African efforts to express the good news in an authentically African way.

Proclaim Jubilee: Break the Chains of Debt. Bread for the World, 1999. $7

   Focuses on legislation to relieve the debt burdens of the world's poorest countries so that more resources can be used to help hungry people.

Yamamori, Tetsunao, Bryant L. Myers, Kwame Bediako, and Larry Reed, eds. Serving With the Poor in Africa. MARC, 1996. $15.95

   Presents cases to reveal the nature and complexities of Christian holistic ministry in several African contexts.

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