On a small island, just west of the coast of Africa, two Peace Corps volunteers are providing the opportunity to have books available for primary age children as well as adults.
Santiago (lower center), Cape Verde Islands west of Africa
Adam Kendis and his wife Jen Epstein will spend two years on the island of Santiago. There is a high illiteracy rate in Cape Verde, partly because the people speak “Kriolu” in their everyday life and it is a spoken language only. The language in schools is Portuguese, and students struggle to read and understand very basic sentences in that language.
Adam and Jen will soon be receiving a box of books from Books for Life, which will be useful in working with adults in the community who speak various levels of English as well as introducing the experience of reading for fun to children.
Adam shared an event at their home to emphasize the interest in reading that they are experiencing: “This past weekend, Jen and I had 30+ people (from the village where we did training) over for lunch. We have a coffee table that we keep stacked with books — books on gardening, picture books about the history of Cape Verde, children’s books and some magazines from the states. From little kids to women in their 60’s, the books were a hit with people looking through them for an average of about 15 minutes per person. Most of our books are in English so people mainly looked at the pictures and tried to read the headlines and captions, but our books in Portuguese were a big hit as well.”
This dedicated couple would also like to get books printed in the “Kriolu” language before they end their term of Peace Corps service in Sept 2013. Perhaps Books for Life can help with that as well!
Where there are books, there is reading.
Where this is reading, education happens.
Where education happens, people prosper.