Princeton Weekly Bulletin February 2/15/99

Student effort promotes literacy

By Caroline Moseley



Children in Komenda, Ghana

The Caffie Greene Conservatory is a nonprofit organization created to promote literacy in the village of Komenda, Ghana, and eventually to build there a Pan African Center dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of African culture.

Cofounders of the conservatory are Los Angeles natives Hersh Davis-Nitzberg '99 and Charu Turner, a senior at Brown; Turner lived in Komenda during a semester's study at Ghana's Cape Coast University, and the conservatory is named in honor of his grandmother.

Other Princetonians involved are Tom Hammel '99, who, according to Davis-Nitzberg, has developed the Web site (, and Pedro Hernandez '99, "who will be coordinating the building program."

One of the organization's goals, says Davis-Nitzberg, is to work with the Los Angeles-based Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs to encourage cultural exchange between Africans and the youth of inner-city Los Angeles.

Davis-Nitzberg and Turner worked last summer to establish a library in Komenda, a temporary site in an existing building. The citizens of Komenda raised funds to rewire the electricity; with the two Americans and other volunteers, they also built furniture and painted the building.

Davis-Nitzberg is soliciting donations of books, especially in four areas: "We need books on Africa, in Fanti or English; books on Africans of the Diaspora; text books and 'how-to' books; and books on spiritual and religious thinking of all traditions." So far, he says, 1500 books have been sent to the Komenda library, thanks to help from the President's Fund and the classes of 1939 and 1978.

To find out more about the conservatory, to donate books, or to volunteer in Komenda, contact Davis-Nitzberg at