“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” – Victor Hugo
Early in December, a group of volunteers from Japan, Korea, Mongolia and the United States visited the small town of Sitio Pureg. It is home to an indigenous peoples the Agta. Called the “guardians of the forests,” the Agtas are one of the longest living residents of the Philippines islands.
The local elementary school houses 60 Agta students with two teachers. Along with a solar powered generator, school supplies and toothbrushes, the team brought 100 books.
UNESCO defines literacy as “a means far more than learning how to read and write… The aim is to transmit… knowledge and promote social participation.”
One of those 100 books could take a child on an adventure through a whole new world. One of those 100 books could present a role model of character who trail blazed a new area of humanity’s progress. One of those 100 books could help them overcome a struggle in their life. One of those 100 books could plant a seed in a future Filipino leader.
The volunteers built shelves for those 100 books. 100 little sparks to light fires in the rising generation of Agtas.