What was the first book that you ever read? Do you remember the glossiness of the page beneath your fingertips as you grasped expectantly, desperate to turn it and burrow further into the new world of adventure that was opening up beneath your eyes?
Unfortunately, for many children across the globe, this milestone of childhood is yet a distant dream. Low levels of literacy, poor schooling and the astronomical cost of buying books prevents many children from discovering the delights and possibilities of reading.
Bolivia is no different. Although the literacy rate is around 91%, few families have ready access to books or an understanding of their cultural value. 45% of the population live in poverty, with many families forced to exist on less than $2 a day.
This is why the projects that BiblioWorks is tirelessly implementing in Bolivia are so important. Our twelve community-run libraries enable those communities to achieve holistic and sustainable development, through the tools of reading, literacy and education. Our staff work to train the librarians and local library committees to ensure that they can make the best use of their new resource, whilst our volunteers spend five weeks or longer working in one of our libraries to engage young people and women with reading and inspiring them to see what education can offer.
But our work in fighting poverty doesn’t end there. We spend the month of April raising the profile of reading in the city of Sucre, by running two events to inspire the local inhabitants. Sucre Reads and our Annual Festival of Reading both seek to promote reading by gifting books, educational resources and running literacy activities to welcome thousands of children and families into the world of reading. Our staff, supported by numerous volunteers from around the globe, organise, promote and run both of these events, which last year engaged over 2,000 local people in and around Sucre.
Yet none of our work can happen without the generosity of our donors. A $10 dollar donation will help to buy books for two children and help them discover new adventures through their imaginations. $50 will buy learning resources for ten children to help them achieve the highest possible outcomes in school. $100 will pay for the running costs of one of our BiblioBuses to bring hundreds of children from the far reaches of Sucre to the doors of the festival.
We’re using every trick in the book to fight poverty in Bolivia, but we can’t do it alone. Donate now.