The Laughter Africa Online Book
“I can’t emphasise enough how many people say to me that they love the Online Book – it’s their favourite part of the website.”
James Tyrell, Founder, Laughter Africa
Whoever it was, that said that books make a house a home, injecting soul into mere structure, could have been talking about Laughter Africa. Our Operations Director, Julie Pentecost recently caught up with the charity’s founder James Tyrell, to find out how their Online Book makes everyone come together and feel involved.
How Showing, Not Just Telling Can Make All The Difference
If Laughter Africa’s website is where visitors can go to get all the information they need about the charity, their Online Book, embedded on the site, is where they acquire a real feel for the work being done, one story at a time.
When so many are at risk, being able to recount individual stories with names and images, as well as regular updates on individual progress, helps make Laughter Africa’s work more relatable, vital for driving supporter engagement as well as donations.
“The Online Book has brought a sense of belonging to our children and our supporters. It humanises our work; the young people who are being helped are not faceless. They are more than just a “street child” – they each have a name, they each have a story and it deserves to be heard.”
Where Everyone Comes Together
The book, the story of the charity from its beginnings to the present day is, at the time of writing, running close to a thousand pages. It’s like a family album with pages full of laughter, joy and some tears too, and like a family album, it’s constantly being added to. It brings everyone, from the 800 or so children it has helped over the years, to all its volunteers and supporters, together in one place. A place that they can call their own.
“Supporters tell me that they really appreciate being able to see where their money is being spent. It’s a great way of reaching out to all our supporters and prospective supporters, and teachers in schools have told me that they enjoy reading through the stories of our beneficiaries with the children in their classes.”
On a practical level the book gives voice to every individual story, keeping them together in one place and saving the website from becoming overloaded. Easy to use and interact with, Laughter Africa has also found it an invaluable tool for their fundraising campaigns.
About Laughter Africa
The Laughter Africa charity was established in 2015 to work with street children in Sierra Leone. Their vision is for a world where street children are respected as human beings and given the dignity of a safe, secure place where their basic needs are met and where they can learn to laugh again. Their work is many faceted and includes providing a mobile centre that gives children living on the streets, a safe space to turn to every day. Laughter Africa also runs an Interim Care Centre where these children can live while attempts are made to trace their families. The final aspect of the charity’s work focuses on reuniting street children with their families and providing the ongoing support and follow-up necessary to give this the best chance of success.