In rural Bolivia the concept of public libraries is relatively new, and most children and young people do not have the vital access to books and information they need to achieve success. Our organization is dedicated to improving literacy and opening educational doors so that children and young people will have new opportunities to pursue studies and vocations which will allow them to serve their communities in order to develop strategies which will eliminate poverty.
Not only have we opened and equipped nine libraries, in Morado K’asa, Presto, Patacon, Yamparaéz, Tarabuco, Villa Serrano, Sopachuy, Pampa Aceituno and Tomina, but we are working on making them all self-sustaining. In the past three years with our team here in Bolivia we have trained hundreds of librarians, teachers, students and other community members on the proper use of a public library and improving literacy on a community level.
The children in the communities where we are working are extremely poor and their families lack access to basic services such as education and health care. The nine communities where we work are predominately Quechua speaking, so we are striving to incorporate culturally appropriate materials into each library. The children in each community work hard in order to sustain their families. Some common roles of children are taking care of animals, helping out with cultivating crops and taking care of siblings while the parents work.
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