posted on 30th October 2020
In 2019, Students for Children funded two school-based community libraries in rural villages in Honduras – one in Las Lagunas, in Honduras’ coffee-growing region of Santa Barbara, and another in La Florida, in the eastern mountains of Olancho.
This project was led by educate., a grassroots non-profit that supports community-driven educational change in Honduras. educate. supported both communities in creating a local library committee, which led the local implementation of the project, bringing the community together to collectively create a space of learning, creativity and community engagement.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, schools across Honduras have been closed since March, and in rural areas where internet access is limited, virtual classes are not an option. However, educate. and dedicated community leaders have been working hard to make sure that children can continue to receive support and have access to meaningful learning opportunities.
Over the past few months, educate.’s local project coordinators have been finding ways to distribute books amongst children for at-home reading activities, and most recently they have been running a book writing competition. Students from the two libraries that Students for Children funded have been writing their own stories, some of which will be collectively illustrated and published into a children’s book for use in all of educate.’s current and future library projects, as well as being made available online for international purchase, with 100% of funds being re-invested into projects.
Alongside learning opportunities, educate. has been providing families from these two schools with food packages, as food security has become a growing concern amid the pandemic. Many families were struggling to provide more than one meal a day, and given the link between adequate nutrition and child development, educate. decided this had to become an integral part of their Covid-19 response. So far, all of these efforts have been funded by virtual events and donations.
Seeing the ongoing impact of these library projects demonstrates the value of creating self-sustaining educational spaces that are led and owned by local communities. Even in a pandemic, these projects continue to provide meaningful and engaging learning to students from marginalized and impoverished areas.