Mitch Albom’s Inspiring Efforts To Rebuild Libraries in The Philippines

Mitch Album, author of works such as The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day and Tuesdays With Morrie, is on a mission to rebuild some of the Philippine libraries that were ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in November.

Early this week, Albom visited Tacloban and quickly found himself emotionally invested in the Philippine citizens. Upon arriving, the author donated 40 boats to help fishermen in the region.

Most importantly, Albom says he was touched with the way literature is viewed in the Philippines.

“I have been here since early this past week and have seen 11-year-olds embracing paperback books like prized possessions,” Albom writes. “In fact, readers here cover their paperbacks in plastic to preserve them. In the U.S., we rarely bother to do that with hardbacks.”

“I’ve seen my own books pulled from the flood-damaged homes, mouldy, discoloured, yet brought to me to sign,” Albom said. “It’s incredible and heartwarming.”

Joining forces with the National Book Store Foundation, the largest book and stationery chain in the Philippines, Albom has pledged to raise $160,000, including his own contribution of $10,000 for the libraries. (Click here to read the heartwarming story of Mitch Albom meeting Socorro Ramos — the woman who started the National Book Store in 1942 despite Japanese soldiers censoring and banning publications in the Philippines during World War II.)

Earlier today, Albom posted the following picture and caption on his Facebook page:

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I’m back in the U.S., but miss the Philippines already. What an amazing, loving, resilient country. My deepest thanks to my new Filipino friends – and thousands of readers. Rarely have I been as moved as by seeing the ravages of Typhoon Yolanda. It inspired me to launch “D.R.Y. Libraries” (Donated Reading for Youth) a campaign to raise $160K to rebuild and restock school libraries in the typhoon-affected areas. National Book Store is matching each dollar. Asked authors—like Jeff Kinney, JK Rowling, John Grisham, Stephen King and so many more—to donate their books and they have. If you’d like to support and see which of your fav authors have contributed, go to www.mitchalbomcharities.org/dry

 

Lunar-New-Year-TableGame-ENG

In addition to his generous donation and inspiring efforts, Albom has also pledged hundreds of copies of his own books to start filling the library bookshelves. He has asked other writers to join him and the following authors have already contributed their books directly to restock the libraries.

 

Rabih Aladeddine
Isabel Allende
Dave Barry
Sam Barry
Roy Blount Jr.
Lisa Brown
Michael Chabon
Stephen Chbosky
Mark Childress
Harlan Coben
Billy Collins
Suzanne Collins
Sarah Dessen
Alexandra Enders
Pamela Erens
Amanda Fortini
Ted Habte-Gabr
Arthur Golden
John Green
John Grisham
Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket)
Robert Hass
Amy Hempel
Brenda Hillman
Alice Hoffman
Khaled Hosseini
Greg Iles
Walter Kirn
Stephen King
Jeff Kinney
Sophie Kinsella
Sheila Kohler
Yiyun Li
Meredith Maran
James McBride
RJ Palacio
Ann Patchett
James Patterson
Ridley Pearson
Matthew Quick
Dawn Raffel
Jason Roberts
JK Rowling
Lisa See
Joan Silber
Nicholas Sparks
Maggie Stiefvater
Amy Tan
Scott Turow
Ayelet Waldman

National Book Store Foundation will match funds raised by Albom until the goal is met. Albom and the National Book Store Foundation said their goal is to begin construction on the first three libraries by late spring.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION. 

(Source 1, 2, 3)

“Being Born As A Girl Is Worthless”

Among the number of privileges we often take for granted is a skill you’re using this very moment: literacy.

For those of us who are lucky enough to have an education, we often overlook how much we utilize reading and writing on a daily basis. To us, it is simply basic knowledge that one naturally picks up way back in elementary school. We foolishly forget that there is an overwhelming amount of women who dream of having the opportunity just to learn how to read and write.

The truth is, for many women, education is not something that is attainable. In certain areas of the world, girls grow up to believe that because they are a girl, they don’t deserve an education. They don’t serve a purpose outside of procreation and taking care of their husbands. These girls grow up believing that being born a girl is worthless.

This is exactly what Chuna Devi grew up believing. As a child in Nepal, she was not sent to school because her parents saw no need in a female having an education. Instead, she was left to look after the animals and was married off by the age of 16.

As a result, when her mother needed medical attention, Chuna Devi could not find the necessary doctor because she could not read the words and numbers on the hospital signs.

This is not uncommon for many women in South Asia. According to Le Globaliste, “of the world’s 493 million illiterate women, half live in South Asia. The region will see 130 million young girls married as children by 2030, and almost four in 10 South Asian women experience sexual violence in their lifetimes. As girls are forced to abandon their education, they become increasingly isolated.”

Now, at the age of 47 and with daughters of her own, what does Chuna Devi decide to do? Change her life.

As a mother of three raising her kids in Nepal, Chuna finally learned how to read at a READ center. With this knowledge, Chuna educates her own daughters and aims to spread the message that it is never too late to learn.

The official website for READ Global describes their centers and organization:

READ Centers offer educational trainings and resources in literacy, livelihood skills, health, leadership, women’s rights, the environment, and more. READ Global is nonprofit organization working in rural South Asia to build community library and resource centers (READ Centers) that offer training programs in education, economic empowerment, technology, and women’s empowerment. With each Center we seed a small business called a ‘sustaining enterprise’ that generates revenue to maintain the Center in the long run. Our Centers are owned and operated by our local partner communities.

 

Slowly, but surely, READ informs more and more women that being born as a girl is priceless. Watch the inspiring story below.