Literacy is a key to success and the struggle to climb out of poverty is nearly impossible without it. Since 1981, US-based nonprofit Books for the Barrios has helped improve literacy in the Philippines by funding schools in underdeveloped and remote areas.
Thanks to private donations and grants from companies like Western Union, Books for the Barrios is able to deliver books, computers and other educational materials to schools in remote rainforest villages in the Philippines. The organization also sets up teacher training and literacy programs to establish a support framework in which education can flourish.
What’s more, Books for the Barrios provides an opportunity for American students to get involved, helping them to see beyond their own communities and connect in a meaningful way with kids in another part of the world.
Recently, students from John Green Elementary School in Dublin, California spent time sorting, stacking, and loading pallets at the Books for the Barrios headquarters in Concord, California. They brought personal books from home, along with favorites from school, and helped pack them up for transport to the Philippines. They also learned a little about the lives of their Philippine counterparts from photos and letters the kids sent.
The John Green students learned that over the years, Books for the Barrios has made a huge impact on Filipino children. The organization has donated more than 15 million books, established 16,000 libraries, and trained 8,000 public school teachers. That’s a lot of literacy!
At Western Union, we applaud and encourage organizations like Books for the Barrios that help young people have a chance at a better life. As a global company, we feel like we’re not just a business but an active part of our communities all over the world.
Many of our customers have migrated from the Philippines to work elsewhere and they send money home to support their families. That’s why we donate money to help renovate, supply, and maintain Books for the Barrios libraries.
Supporting Books for the Barrios is just another way WU is moving money – and more – for good.