7 Revolutionary Nonprofits to Volunteer at if You Love Books

By Arielle on 20/02/2019

Attention book lovers! If your idea of a good time is getting into a good book but you also adore volunteering for a good cause, these organizations combine both and one of them could be a great fit for you! All of these nonprofits are committed to raising literacy in their communities through their local libraries and with reading programs. They need bookworms who want to share their passion with locals. Seeing as how February is Library Lovers’ Month, here are seven NGOs that would love to have volunteers with worn-out library cards 😉

    1. My Little Travelling Library, Tanzania

    2. Biblioworks, Bolivia 

    3. Friends of Literacy Tanzania, Tanzania

    4. Fundacion Arte del Mundo, Ecuador
    5. Siaya Community Library, Kenya

    6. Biblioteca infantil en Bena Jema, Peru

    7. Realizing Education For Development (READ), Tanzania 

1. My Little Travelling Library

Where: Tanzania

My Little Travelling Library is a non-profit organization that runs literacy programs for children in Mwanza, Tanzania. They work with public primary schools and provide learning materials and books using specially designed mobile handi-carts.

The Library hosts various interactive reading classes with the children as well as fun reading events like reading picnics and competitions. All with the aim of helping children master their English and reading skills and encourage independent reading. Incredibly, they also run a solar bag production firm that produces solar bags for children in rural areas from disadvantaged families to be used as light sources to read by at night.

My Little Travelling Library are looking for people to give reading classes to children, host reading activities and to show children that reading is fun!

Learn more about My Little Travelling Library >>

2. Biblioworks

Where: Bolivia

Biblioworks is a sustainable nonprofit that promotes literacy and education in Bolivia. They believe books can change the world!

In rural Bolivia, the concept of public libraries is relatively new and most children and adolescents don’t have access to books and information. Biblioworks now has 16(!) open and equipped libraries and are working on making them all self-sustaining by training hundreds of librarians, teachers and students on how to use and run a public library.

They are dedicated to improving literacy and opening educational doors for children and young adults to have opportunities to pursue further education and careers. They believe these opportunities will allow them to serve their communities and develop strategies to eliminate poverty.

Volunteers are needed for several positions, including English language teachers to give classes in the library, Women’s Literacy teachers and the most exciting: Book Club Coordinators! These volunteers would work with kids, adults and teachers to promote a love for reading and literacy. Their duties would include coordinating and implementing book clubs, working closely with librarians to promote reading through creative and sustainable activities as well as utilizing books to create challenging and dynamic literacy lessons.

The only requirement is they need people with an intermediate level of Spanish.

Learn more about Biblioworks >>

3. Friends of Literacy Tanzania

Where: Tanzania

Friends of Literacy Tanzania is a non-profit organization based in Lushoto, dedicated to improving education in Tanzania through books.

Their aim is to tackle the adverse challenges of education within their communities in different parts of Tanzania by minimizing the level of illiteracy in children. They do this, they promote book reading to children and youths from the ages of 3 years to 20 years old.

Their most recent and important project is the introduction of Lushoto district’s first and only public library. The library is their main tool for running and starting the following programs:

The after school book-reading clubs which have been established in different schools in order to attract the students to participate in book reading programs, i.e. book discussions, Read a Book – Ride a Bike, book camps, etc. The after-school English club is aiming to improve the writing and speaking skills of students, helping them to face the challenges of completing their exams. The poetry club aims to improve the writing and reciting skills of the children through different poetry sessions. The book camps combine staying in the middle of the beautiful natural scenery of the Usambara Mountains with learning from books about nature and environment.

Volunteers can contribute to their project in many ways: as many of the projects are still young, volunteers can bring their your own ideas and talents to help grow them! As well, a lot of help is needed in their English teaching program. Many of the students are deeply interested in discussions about politics, history and social issues. Whichever knowledge you have, they will find a way to include it in their daily projects!

Learn more about Friends of Literacy Tanzania >>

4. Fundacion Arte del Mundo

Where: Ecuador

Fundacion Arte del Mundo is a children’s interactive library, theater and cinema, language program and cultural center (whew!) staffed by volunteers. The children’s library (or as it goes by its nickname ‘La BIB’) is free and offers over 1200 Spanish language children’s books received through donations.

The library is also home to the After School Arts Center that offers art activities for children. Inspired by the talents of the volunteers, these activities have included art, music, dance, theater games, yoga, science experiments, games, dress up and cooking. The Fundacion collaborates with local businesses, supporters, schools, and of course, volunteers to develop cultural projects throughout the community.

Volunteers are needed in the library as supervision as well as for other duties, including directing arts and crafts activities and as English teachers.

Learn more about Fundacion Arte del Mundo >>

5. Siaya Community Library

Where: Kenya

The Siaya Community Library is an accessible community library in Siaya County, Kenya that promotes lifelong learning and a reading culture within the community. Their goal is to encourage youth to evolve into engaged, knowledgeable citizens.

The Library runs a wide range of services for the community, its main ones being providing reading materials including formal educational resources and locally-produced information pamphlets on agriculture, health and literacy. It carries a wide variety of reading materials – best-selling books, novels, curriculum, large print, newspapers, magazines, audio books, DVDs and compact discs. They strive to ensure their collection remain diverse in breadth and form and of world-renowned quality.

They are looking for volunteers to act as librarians, fundraisers, teachers and more!

Learn more about Siaya Community Library >> 

6.  Biblioteca infantil en Bena Jema

Where: Peru

Biblioteca infantil en Ben Jema is a nonprofit in the process of building a children’s library in the Amazonian indigenous native community of Ben Jema in Peru.

They know how essential it is for children to be exposed to reading at a young age and even more important in Amazonian indigenous communities where reading is not traditionally present. Biblioteca’s communities are hurt by inequality but they knows that reading is a fundamental tool for learning. 

So they are looking for volunteers who can work in the community library so that the children of the region have a place they can go after school to listen to stories, read, paint, laugh and dream!

Learn more about Biblioteca infantil en Bena Jema>> 

7. Realizing Education For Development (READ)

Where: Tanzania

READ is a charity organization that supports youth, providing them with access to educational resources and teaching them various skills.

They’ve implemented 4 major programs: Library Refurbishment, Literacy and Reading, Teachers’ Professional Development and Volunteer Mentoring Program.

They’re looking for book-loving volunteers for Program Development: to help with library refurbishment; during which they transform unused, rundown spaces to well-organized, engaging libraries and to help with the Literacy and Reading Program, to promote:

1. Reading culture

2. Improve language transition

3. Improve students’ skills in fluency and comprehension both in Kiswahili and English.

Learn more about Realising Education For Development (READ) >>