One particular challenge that's apparent amongst children and youth in Bolivia is their limited access to books. Public libraries don’t exist here as we know them in Canada and school libraries generally consist of a bookshelf of textbooks.
We have been working with the Jireh staff for some time to try and start a small library and this celebration seemed the perfect time to launch. We started by soliciting book titles and themes from the youth and leaders over several weeks to get an idea of their interests. It was fun to watch many of them jump with suggestions and to see other seriously research their recommendations.
With a cohort of kids of different ages from the project, we hit the streets lined with books for sale and had them find titles off their list and also choose books themselves for their age groups. An afternoon of giggles and excited shrieks later, we had amassed the base for a library that can grow for years to come. To build a little excitement, the books were wrapped like presents at the year-end celebration and the children opened them as gifts “from Jireh to Jireh.” The kids can’t wait to come back to the project in the New Year and dive into a good book.