Enhancing Education Through Reading in Rural Areas

Donor: Citigroup Foundation
Local Allies: Fundación Secretos para Contar
Beneficiaries: 9,577 families (47,885 individuals)
Location: Antioquia, Colombia

As part of a previous alliance, Give To Colombia and Fundación Secretos Para Contar once again came together to launch an initiative that hoped to provide rural families with a small reading library of 12 books, a dictionary to help them enhance their vocabulary, as well as support capacity development programs that empower the children, their families, and the community to improve their quality of life by promoting reading as a cultural value. Although the initial number of porposed families was 9,051, the project managed to include an additional 526 families.

The project was implemented in nine municipalities of Antioquia (Frontino, Liborina, Olaya, Peque, Sabanalarga, Cañasgordas, Uramita, Belmira, and Santa Fe) and focused on low-income families in remote rural areas where children have a limited access to libraries, internet or urban centers. In addition, the project integrated the books as part of the academic materials used by teachers in the classroom through training workshops and created a parallel radio program that was broadcasted in all 35 radio stations of Antioquia for a year to ensure that families would use the reading materials at home.

Thanks to the support of Citi volunteers in distributing the books and the teachers whose dedication made the program successful, not even the natual phenomenom known as La Niña with its hard winter and heavy rain stopped the momentum of this project.