“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
— Dr. Seuss
10 June 2021
One of the difficult elements of Covid restrictions for our youngsters over in South Africa is little to no schooling. This year most government middle-high schoolers only attend school once per week, leaving them barely educated with lots of spare time on their hands as most do not have access to technology. When asking the young kids we mentor what they greatly desired, their response was pleasantly surprising… books.
As the late Kofi Annan was quoted saying, “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.” Books help educated; they inspire your imagination, and transport you into different worlds, lives, and experiences. They give our children hope for the different possibilities life can offer, who they can strive to be, and what they could experience beyond that of their dirt roads. However, with no library insight and little to no access to books, their desire to read, to improve their English and literacy level is very challenging to achieve.
As a huge lover of books and an advocate for children of all ages to be able to read and listen to books being read out loud, this was one “desire” I could not wait to fulfill. So, armed with a plan and a list of book topic requests, I set off to the local book stores & thrift stores, finding some great deals for under a dollar. In addition, our local library was amazing and donated over 40 beautiful books for our variety of ages, reading levels, and interests (Thank you, Olivedale Friends of the Library!)
As a result, our little neighborhood library has been birthed. It is located in a safe house, where the children can loan out a few books per month. Thus, hopefully, helping them bridge the gap until schooling returns to normal and as a possible bonus, giving them the gift of loving to read, the hope of greater education, and opening up a world of possibilities of what the world could hold for them.