TUK TUK BOOKS!
A Mobile Library Bringing Books to Children Living in the Middle of Human Elephant Conflict
In remote villages of central Sri Lanka, subsistence farmers and their children have extremely limited 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 out to the impoverished families living in critical HEC zones. It was when we first visited the distant village of Sulugone that the idea was borne, upon meeting the children and seeing them playing in front of the tuk tuk:
1. Source books, book, books! Books for ALL ages, on ALL topics, in Sinhala and English. 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. Purchase higher quality, larger plastic containers to store the books. They need good lids to keep out termites/mice/rain, and solid sides to transport the books safely in the open tuk tuk.
3. Funding for petrol. One of the villages is almost 2 hours away, but it is these distant villages that need access to the mobile library the most. The more books and petrol we have, the more people we can reach.
4. A lamination machine with several reams of lamination paper, and a small printer.