Global Shapers, a spinoff from the World Economic Forum, is an international network of hubs developed and led by young people who are exceptional in their potential, achievements and drive to make a contribution to their communities.
The Patterson-Belles Community Library, named after two early residents of the area, is located at the Community Centre at Section B Sophia and was developed through a Global Shapers Georgetown project called “Save The Libraries”.
Carmen Patterson said she was “so surprised and honoured” for being part of “this very beautiful library,” she said.
Depending on how this project performs, Louisa Mancey of the local hub said it would be replicated in other areas of Guyana. “This is a pilot project so after we are done, we will see how it goes. Maybe we can do something like this in other communities because where a child can go and borrow a book and read a nice story is awesome,” she said.
Mancey said the library would be used to help fight illiteracy among children and adults. “We want to have a reading programnme and we want to encourage you to encourage other people to get involved in the reading programme because we need teachers, we need facilitators, we need people who can give up an hour or two hours a week to help a group of children to learn to read,” he said.
The project received support from the United States embassy in Georgetown, Gafoor’s Industries, Guyana Shines, Rotaract (University of Guyana), Guyana Book Foundation, individuals and organisations. The wide array includes books for children, self-help, construction, accounting, fiction and non-fiction.
US Embassy Public Affairs Officer, Bobby Adelson told the gathering that the library was “an investment in the community” and the American government decided to invest funds from its small grants programme. He appealed to residents to take advantage of the library as part of efforts to improve their levels of education.
Community Activist, Colin Marks remarked that stressed that “reading is the foundation of life” and so the community’s early idea of having a library was eventually seeded with support from Global Shapers. “I am absolutely certain it is going to impact this community in a real positive way,” he said.