Our commitment here makes perfect sense

In Lima, the Movement is present in two of the most remote and abandoned communities. We can say that if supporters and volunteers of the Movement did not go there on a regular basis, the families living there would be completely excluded, living in a sort of no-man’s land. This is why our commitment here makes perfect sense.

In one of these communities, families are living in huts clinging to an almost vertical side of a hill. To get to where the street library takes place, you have to climb a very steep slope that is mainly earth and stones, and has hardly any steps. Even the youngest members of the team don't make it up first time! Even so, this is only halfway up to the community. Some of the children are there already. The volunteers go and look for the other children at their homes. There are usually about thirty children and some adults to come to the street library.


The street library takes place once a week. It's run by a group of around fifteen students who are from a high school at the bottom of the hill that was founded by the community Fe y Alegria (Faith and Joy) * , with the involvement of members of the Movement. This group changes every year. It's part of a social commitment for these young students who are doing this voluntary. The group meets in a small rented room at the bottom of the hill. Then are separated into two groups. One group prepares the activities of the street library for the coming week, choosing the books and making sure they don't always take the same ones. One person volunteers to learn a book 'by heart' so they can present it orally to the children without having to read it. The other group goes up to the community to run the street library whose activities were prepared the previous week.

At the beginning of the street library, each child picks up his/her badge from one of the animators – this allows to know who is there and who is absent. Then it is reading time which will last for about an hour. As there are enough animators present, this means that reading time can be done with two or three children together, or if needed with only one child. This allows the animators to be closer to the children. This reading time is very popular and it's clear that the children are used to choosing their own books, reading them alone or asking for an animator to help them read.

Then it is entertainment time; the theme was 'difference', with the help of funny puppets created by the students. After each street library, the animators meet again in the room at the bottom of the hill. So they can share about what they have noticed about each child's participation. They also exchange about the adults who were there.

Huguette R., travels in Peru

* Sister Bernadette B., is heavily involved with the school Fe y Alegria and is also a supporter of the Movement in Lima. She started the links with the families living in this area. Little by little, and with her help, the street library was created.