The reading classroom
A rolling library for children in remote villages in Nicaragua
"There it is!" exclaims 7-year-old Marta, beaming with joy as she runs towards the "Bertolt Brecht" bookmobile. Slowly, the "Bibliobús" drives into the dusty playground of the school in the small village of Santa Ana. Many children who, like Marta, live in the countryside hardly have access to the world of books. For most families in the villages of Nicaragua, books are true luxury goods. Marta has known about the bookmobile since she was three years old. At first, she listened to stories in the reading sessions, but today she can already read for herself. Every time she visits the library on wheels, she borrows a book and dives into distant worlds. Marta's favourite book is "The Little Prince".
Access to books and supplementary education for children in Nicaragua
The German-Nicaraguan Library provides children with access to books through projects to promote reading
Number of reading hours in the reading projects for Nicaraguan children and books borrowed
The children read fluently, borrow books, are motivated at school and perform well in class
More children in rural areas complete primary school, go on to secondary school and have better chances for the future
A look at the education situation in Nicaragua recently caused concern: almost 92 percent of children attended primary school in 2018, but only 43 percent achieved a school-leaving qualification. The official literacy rate in the same year was just under 83 percent (EPDC, 2018), but the reality today is different. Especially in rural areas, there is great inequality in education. According to the experience of local staff, many students cannot read a simple text after completing six years of primary school. In the few village schools, usually only the teacher owns a book, because reading material is rare and expensive. The state education system is reaching its limits. Additionally, 43 percent of Nicaraguans live in poverty. People in rural areas are particularly affected by this, especially children. With a daily income of less than one US dollar, many families cannot afford to invest in education (GIZ 2022). The political crisis in Nicaragua, which has been going on for years, weighs heavily and is causing an increasing lack of perspective among the population. The reading projects coordinated by the German-Nicaraguan Library counteract (educational) poverty – they reach more than 2,000 young bookworms every month, who are provided with important reading material, among other things. They improve the living situation of many young people in the country through free access to literature. Because reading means knowledge. Those who can read discover and develop ideas and learn to question things critically. This is the basis for change and paves the way for a self-determined life.
The good deed
With your good deed, children in the rural regions of Nicaragua come into contact with books. Especially in rural areas, there is a lack of (early) childhood education opportunities. With your commitment, you enable valuable reading time as well as playful activities around the medium of books. Many children fall in love with reading and regularly borrow books, which they also read to younger siblings. Parents, too, are often gripped by the love of reading and start reading themselves and supporting their children. Reading awakens the joy of learning and has a positive effect on school paths. This gives the children a sustainable perspective and teaches them to take charge of their own lives. The pedagogically trained professionals in the reading projects of the German-Nicaraguan Library accompany the children individually in their personal development, usually over several years. The reading projects include book bus trips to schools or reading rounds in families and communities.
Number of inhabitants
Gross domestic product per capita per year
Human Development Index
The Nicaraguans say of themselves that they are poets. The poet Ernesto Cardenal was closely connected to the reading projects supported by the German-Nicaraguan Library until his death.