For those of you who’ve followed this adventure for a while understand that everything I do has a purpose.
The “missions” I set out on are organized to learn about specific aspects of a country and it’s culture.
Tourist 2 Townie began in Argentina with learning Spanish and finding a local job and then moved to Colombia to trade my gringo shuffle in for some smooth salsa moves. From there I scratched the surface on cooking like a Peruvian chef and now I’m focused on Bolivia and my most ambitious adventure yet.
When I decided to take on my latest T2T mission, volunteer in Bolivia, I wanted to get involved with an organization that was truly instrumental within the community and be a part of something that I could have a lasting impact with… Enter BiblioWorks!
My Passion for Literacy
From water to rainforests, there are a million and one causes to get behind in this world, all of which are important and relatable. For me, it’s the opportunity for education that I’m passionate about. I think that every other cause in this world can be positively influenced through literacy and proper education.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
This isn’t my first attempt at incorporating my passion for literacy into my work. In my previous life at the Textbook start-up, I tried to establish a foundation that gave used books and funds to local literacy organizations like Read to Succeed Buffalo, Family Literacy Centers of Utah and Reading is Fundamental of Southern California. Unfortunately, the program wasn’t as successful as I’d envisioned because short-term profitability trumped long-term impact. Definitely understandable for a growing business, but not something I was proud of. This time things will be different.
What BiblioWorks Does
BiblioWorks has been building libraries, supplying books and training librarians in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Bolivia since 2005. Focused on the communities within the Chuquisaca department (region around Sucre) BiblioWorks currently facilitates 8 libraries with the goal of 2 new libraries this year.
BiblioWorks Mission: BiblioWorks is founded in the simple principle that literacy and education are critical components for the creation and vitality of sustainable communities and cultures. We believe that where knowledge, literacy, and learning exist, people have the resources they need to solve social issues, maintain and strengthen their cultural identities, as well as to grow their community economically.
Our Goals Together
We have 3 very ambitious goals to accomplish while I’m here in Bolivia volunteering with BiblioWorks.
- Fund 2 New Libraries – Our goal is to develop a relationship between the Rotary Club in Greece NY, (where my mother is a member) and the Rotary Club of Sucre Bolivia, to raise funds to build and supply 2 new libraries and train 2 librarians, hundreds of teachers and community members at the total cost of $10K each.
- Book Fair in Sucre – Our goal is to fund, organize and execute a huge book fair in the center of Sucre on April 14th 2012 to help promote literacy within the city and raise awareness about BiblioWorks and their current and future literacy efforts.
- Assist within the libraries – This will be the most rewarding aspect of this volunteer project for me. I will spend a few days a week traveling to a local library to interact with the community members and help assist with educational activities and programs.
How You Can Get Involved
I’m raising money to help fund the first ever book fair in Sucre, Bolivia (goal #2) and I could use all the support I can get. We will need to purchase promotional material, educational prizes and general event supplies to make this book fair a reality and funds are in short supply. With that being said, any financial support you could give to this amazing cause would have a tremendous impact on improving literacy in one of the most deprived regions in South America.
HOW TO DONATE:
I have setup a Fundraiser Page through StayClassy.org where you can make a donation of your choice. $5, $10, $20, anything will make a huge difference.
- Click on this link: https://www.stayclassy.org/checkout/donation?fcid=182425 (or click on the “Donate Now” button on the BiblioWorks widget to the right of this page)
- Select your donation amount $10, 20, $40 or other amount
- Enter payment info (including Paypal)
- Click “Send your Gift”
That’s it. It’s a one-page process that literally takes less than a minute.
You will receive a donation receipt via email shortly following your transaction. Also, it’s tax deductible ; ).
All donations via the StayClassy.org Fundraiser Page will be sent directly to the BiblioWorks account where all proceeds will help fund the Sucre Book Fair. No administrative costs or alternative project expenses will be taken from this account.
I will be continuously updating the project’s status on the T2T Facebook page as well as the BiblioWorks Facebook page, so check back regularly and tell your friends!
(Thank you all)