By Mariela Angella Oladive
In its mission to alleviate poverty and foster community development, Gawad Kalinga (GK) Iloilo is reaching out to the public for book donations to support its ongoing project, “Maleta Library,” an initiative that aims to provide educational resources to children in marginalized communities across Panay.
“Right now, we really need books to continue with the Maleta Library campaign,” Gawad Kalinga provincial management team events Maria Shiela Barbasa told Daily Guardian.
Donors can drop off their book donations at the Red Readerhood Booth on the Lower Ground Floor of SM City, Iloilo, beside Our Home, from October 13 to 22, 2023.
The donated books will be initially allocated to New Lucena, one of the GK villages, and distributed to 26 GK sites in Panay. In this regard, the organization is eager to accumulate more books through donations to expand their reach to other GK villages, as they are also open to individuals willing to sponsor a complete “Maleta Library” for PHP 20,000. The sponsorship can significantly support the sustainability of the project and ensure that more children have access to books.
Additionally, they welcome volunteers passionate about reading and education to join their efforts. Volunteers can play a crucial role in reading books to children and participating in other projects to uplift the communities.
Gawad Kalinga has also partnered with Big Bad Wolf’s CSR program, Red Readerhood, which has pledged 1,000 books for the GK Traveling Maleta Library and has committed to match every book donated from the Big Bad Wolf sale on top of their initial pledge.
The Maleta Library is a mobile library contained within a suitcase or “maleta,” filled with books that travel between GK villages, spending a month at each location. It began five years ago and has been instrumental in improving literacy and educational opportunities for underprivileged youth in the region, aligning with the core values of Gawad Kalinga.
As Gawad Kalinga Iloilo continues its effort to empower children through the Maleta Library, it demonstrates that by spreading the joy of reading, a brighter future can be constructed, one book at a time.