Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bibliomulas Project


There's a lot of negativity out here and every once in a while I find myself needing a little bit of a lift; something to reassure me that's it's not all bad. Maybe you're an optimist and you rarely need a reminder of the positives. Maybe you're not. Regardless, I was scrolling through idealist.org and came across The Bibliomulas Project in Venezuela. Whether an optimist, pessimist or anywhere in between I promise this project will induce a smile and inspire a little bit of hope.

"How far can a book go? How far can it take us? The answer is "very far," according to this BBC story about the Bibliomulas Project in Trujillo, Venezuela.

The bibliomulas – mules carrying loads of books, laptops and projectors – trudge for hours over mountain trails to remote village locations, accompanied by human participants from the Universidad Valle del Momboy. When they reach their destinations, children gather to hear stories read aloud by the university students. This is more than a few hours of storytime: project leaders Christina and Juana explain that they're not only spreading the joy of reading, but helping to improve the quality of life in these communities through environmental education and internet access. Student volunteers help the children to plant trees, while adults can utilize the laptops to tap into wireless connections."

Depending on where you're reading this, Venezuela may seem like a far off place and the thought behind Bibliomulas a bit lofty. It's important to remind ourselves though that these things are completed because of the will of the people involved. Ideas and determination are the first and most important steps to creating change.

-Ashleigh Rae

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