TUK TUK BOOKS!
A Mobile Library Bringing Books to Children Living in the Middle of Human-Elephant Conflict
In remote villages of SE Asia, subsistence farmers and their children have extremely limited, if any, access to books. As steady work continues to turn a history of Human-Elephant Conflict into one of Human-Elephant Coexistence, outreach must also include education and humanitarian efforts to help create a different future for all.
Traveling by tuk-tuk, our 3-wheeled library has waterproof containers filled with books for all ages, and along with fun educational games and a simple checkout system, we reach the impoverished families living in critical HEC zones.
There are over a dozen far-flung villages in this area alone that need access to books, and with additional funding, we could also supply writing and art materials, and books for their parents as well. Once that need is met, our goal is to bring Tuk Tuk Books to additional villages, empowering children who live among elephants, offering options and choices for their own futures, as well as for the future conservation of the wild that surrounds them.
Without books available to the rural communities scattered throughout the mountainous jungle, how can we ask children to envision a life different from farming inside elephant lands if they have no examples of what that different life might be? How can we expect impoverished families to be lifted out of poverty if they have never seen or been exposed to different ways of thinking, of learning, of dreaming? Education is key, and especially in areas like these that have no access to the internet, books are the doorway to a kind and compassionate future for all.
This is a brand new project, and we would be so grateful for your support! There are many villages in need of Tuk Tuk Books, and not just in Sri Lanka, but also in Myanmar and Cambodia. With your help, we could:
1. Source books for all ages in their first language, and when appropriate, entry-level English books. For children that may hope to move from their tiny villages, even the most basic English skills can open up countless doors for a better life. Our current focus is on books for children, from non-readers (picture books), all the way up to their final grade, but our hearts are set on having books for adults too.
2. Funding for small solar lights. The most rural villagers do not have electricity, and with small solar lights, they can read during the long nights without the ongoing cost of candles or the health challenges of kerosene. The more books and lights we have, the more we can inspire and empower young people living far off the beaten path to create a kinder world for all.