MANILA, Philippines — The 14-millionth reused book shared by California’s youth with Filipino children was turned over to the Philippine government in January 21, 2012, in a ceremony that showcased the solidarity between Filipinos and Americans as they work together to promote peace and goodwill through the literacy project.
Books for the Barrios, Inc., based in Concord, California, has been active in the Philippines since 1981 when United States (US) Navy families who were stationed in the Philippines started the book donation project. Books for the Barrios was founded by Dan Harrington and his wife Nancy Stowe Harrington, who met in late 1960s in the Philippines – Dan a pilot for the US Air Force stationed at Clark and Nancy a teacher. They started the organization in 1981 to provide educational materials to under-resourced schools. The project has since distributed 14 million books in Philippine rural schools in the past 30 years.
Books for the Barrios is run by volunteers who collect books and other educational learning aids and devices from schools, publishers, and schoolchildren in the US and ship them to the Philippines. It organizes American School children to participate in the collection and packing of donations. It enlists volunteer American education development specialists to provide training to Filipino rural teachers. It also sends books to Mexico, Honduras, and Bhutan, and provides consulting services to non-profit organizations helping over 140 countries.
On October 1, 2011, Books for the Barrios received the 2011 Peace and Justice Award for bringing peace to the world by providing basic education to poorest children. In 2010, it experienced record-breaking year in the “International Youth Literacy Development Program” when its efforts resulted in the establishment of seven legacy libraries.
We laud the international educational efforts of Books for the Barrios to help millions of children worldwide and give them the opportunity to discover their potentials through the provisions of books and learning aids. MABUHAY!