Village Library

This is because, frankly, I don’t have the resources to make as big of a difference in this village as the village deserves. There are lovely, motivated people here, and I would love your help in helping them!

Perhaps the main, glaring issue is that even if a villager wants to grow and lift herself out of her situation, there aren’t any resources available. Books are luxury items and the school system is riddled with flaws. The schools have the (regrettably) classic problem of underfunding, and the teachers are underpaid and overworked and too often resort to corporal punishment to receive results. Couple that with students skipping school to help out at the family’s farm, bogus gender norms pulling girls out of school for housework, school fees that strain the meager family income, and teenage pregnancies as the norm. It’s not really possible to exaggerate the slope on this uphill battle, and school dropouts are, unsurprisingly, commonplace.

What this village needs is a resource for these students, who have been led to dropout for myriad reasons, to continue to learn. There needs to be a resource for adults to continue to educate themselves, including education as rudimentary as improving reading and writing. There needs to be a place where current students can seek extra help, can pursue non-traditional, or more specific avenues of learning. What this village needs is a library.

Part of my work here has been identifying and working with the numerous villagers in the community who are excited about growth and improving their situation, those who have a mindset of the “chercheur” (usually translated from the french as researcher or searcher).  This is one of the most fundamental aspects to any development work being successful, and so I’ve tried to seek out people with this quality and to nurture it where I see it. This has led to a monthly “lecture” series founded around the culture of the chercheur. A culture that values curiosity, kindness, and creativity. While I can address many issues through these talks (providing information on topics such as agroforestry, topsoil building practices like no-till agriculture, food security and food transformation, basic financial skills, etc), the problem, as already mentioned, is that I’m only one person and can only make so much of an impact, unfortunately. This village deserves a wealth of knowledge. This village deserves a resource where the chercheurs of any age can go to grow and better themselves.  This village deserves a library, and with your help we can make it happen.

The silver lining to all of this, is that money goes rather far in the developing world. A portion of funds raised will be going to the physical construction of the library, the generosity of the donations determining the size. Another portion of the funds will be used (along with, hopefully, the aid of a nonprofit or two or three— I’m currently working on this part) in filling the library with books of all types. Books that open up minds; books that teach skills; books that are there for the pure love and skill of reading. The final portion of the funds will be set aside for the longevity and sustainability of the library, whether that means repairs, or book acquisition down the road, or even a small scholarship for school fees that need to be paid (only if this action can be made sustainable and renewable). The project is scalable to the size of funds collected and the outside nonprofits I’m able to cobble together, so a large part of the specifics of the project depend on your generosity, but I will post updates here as I continue to have more information.

I promise that the need is even greater than the little that can be captured with these few, paltry words. Please consider supporting or consider sharing. This will only grow and reach realization through word of mouth.  Also, I apologize for asking for money and for asking you to ask your friends and family for their money. I know how awkward this is, but this is a project that is worth the awkwardness.

Love you all, thanks for being amazing, let’s build a library!


(But also in your best library whisper please tell your friends, family, coworkers, baristas, and postal agents... or this goes nowhere very quickly)
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Madeline Becker
Jonesborough, TN

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