Foundation builds public libraries for poor nationwide

EFI is a group of lay people whose apostolate centres on edifying Catholics through education. It has already set up a number of libraries in depressed communities in Metro Manila.

Philippines
Mar 11 2014, 4:07 PM
Foundation builds public libraries for poor nationwide
A Bahay Karunungan book stall in Metro Manila.

The Education Foundation (EFI) is putting up public libraries known as Bahay Karunungan (House of Knowledge) for poor communities throughout the nation.

EFI is a group of lay people whose apostolate centres on edifying Catholics through education. It has already set up a number of libraries in depressed communities in Metro Manila.

The response to the venture proves that not only people in the higher strata of the society have passion for reading, even the less fortunate do, EFI President Naomi A. David said in a recent interview to CBCP News.

The project aims to motivate and support learning among the less fortunate through reading. Bahay Karunungan is furnished with mainstream books, religious volumes, magazines, newspapers, other manuscripts and personal computers; it serves as a reading and learning centre for the community.

What makes it distinct from the usual libraries is the formative thrust of the foundation.

Books, magazines, and other reading materials are reviewed first before admission into the library, David said. The foundation does not allow obscene reading materials to get into the library. It will tamper the thrust of the foundation to spare young people from the moral collapse of the society.

Unlike conventional libraries following the standard office hours of 8 am to 5 am, it opens from 11 am until early evening to accommodate students after school and other people after work.

The underprivileged student, whose home has no space conducive to learning or has poor lighting, can go to Bahay Karunungan and do his homework, David said. People in the community can visit the library situated at a walking distance, if they wish to read books and magazines or a newspaper after the day’s work.

A librarian who comes from the community itself does storytelling for children. She also facilitates comprehension and formation of children into young people, who are aware of the world around.

Other activities in the library include watching wholesome TV shows, screening of films that promote moral values and virtues, and discussions on issues affecting people.

The EFI undertakes the project in collaboration with partners who back its advocacy for helping educate people, especially the poor. Individuals and groups, “who have a heart for learning,” provide the fund for setting up the library and acquisition of books and other library resources, David said.

“But the soft program and how the library will be ran come from the foundation itself,” she said.

Source: CBCP News