Resource Title

Africa Alive Publications


A series of 3 school textbooks developed by Self-Help Development International (now Self Help Africa), which focus on the challenges facing communities in rural Africa. The 3 books are valuable as curriculum support material for Geography, CSPE, English, Economics and R.E., amongst other subjects. Also available in Irish language.

Resource Details


Divided into 3 school textbooks that are 30-50 pages in length and free to download, they are packed with facts, figures and activities on distinctive themes on Africa and how these relate to young people in Ireland.

The three meta themes explored – are 1) water 2) food, land and trees 3) health and education. The cross curricular approach adopted throughout is explained for teachers per subject and how it could relate to their teaching programme. The subjects covered include Science, Geography, Economics, Art, Music, English, Gaeilge, Maths, History, R.E. and Home Economics.

The learning resources utilised by the three publications include a good use of case studies, poetry, song, riddles, worksheets, quizzes, project activities and detailed information sheets.

The 3 textbooks present a comprehensive starting point for teachers wishing to explore Africa, its history (political, economic, social, environmental etc.) and our relationship with it from the within the classroom.

Big Ideas in this Resource

Together, these books explore development and underdevelopment in (and across) Africa.

The first text book on the topic of “Water” gives a picture of how important water is in all our lives. It also gives a picture of the simple, basic problems people have in getting water and how they solve these problems.

The second text book “Food, Land and Trees” gives information about life in Africa in a colourful and interesting way. It challenges the negative images and stories about developing countries. It is clear that there are problems to be dealt with. The emphasis is on the ways that these problems are solved. The focus is on the lives of the people in their farms and villages in rural Africa.

The third text book seeks to raise awareness of the simple everyday issues and problems in the lives of people in developing countries. It deals with the issues of “Health & Education” where it looks at the next step on the ladder of development. It is very important to understand that these issues hugely affect the lives of the people in the towns and cities and also in the small villages, farms and communities in Africa.

Further Reading

Further reading and post primary resources are available online at

Available from:

Downloads (in English and Irish):