The Okurase Library is an asset to children in the village who prior to its implementation had never had a library.
Children in Okurase have historically had little access to reading materials. The village did not have a library or regular people to read to children.
The Okurase Library Program
As a precursor to our library program, groups that visited the village often were interested in reading to children. So, we had them read to children but the availability of readers was sporadic.
In 2013, Lindsay Morand, grandniece of Charlotte’s Web author E.B. White, sent a special edition of Charlotte’s web to the village. Reading sessions were conducted to get the children interested in the story. Reading was certainly getting more interesting. We needed more.
A room beside our NGO office was being used for storage and sometimes for individual tutoring. But Okurase had no library. During VHO 2015, Joelle, Richelene, and Ciro from Curacao, and others came together, cleaned, sanded, painted a room and made shelves. To our joy, 6 large boxes of books had been sent to Okurase by the women of Delta Kappa Gamma International Society (a teacher’s group) from Winnfield, Louisiana and spearheaded by Theresa Hendrix. Wendy Taylor, a librarian from North Charleston, South Carolina that attended VHO 2015 rated the books by grade and put them in order in the shelves and beautifully created the library. Our local artist, Bobo painted an amazing tree mural on the inside wall of the library. Our intern from College of Charleston, Maggie Panneta helped us get the library off the ground and we hired a local person to run it. A library was born and a job was developed for someone in the village. That’s what is known as a win-win.
The library has brought a great resource to the village. Regular reading has many advantages. Children learn to read but they also learn English.
We will continue to expand our library book selection.
How You Can Help
You can help by donating books, helping us ship books, or coming to Okurase to help read.