Rabat - A beach library organized by Fernanda Sanchez, a current Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, has opened in Moulay Bousselham, a town 99 km (62 miles) north of Kénitra.
Rabat – A beach library organized by Fernanda Sanchez, a current Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, has opened in Moulay Bousselham, a town 99 km (62 miles) north of Kénitra.
Morocco World News interviewed her to learn more about her project.
MWN: How did you get the idea of doing this project?
Fernanda Sanchez: When I first moved to Moulay Bousselham, I was surprised to discover that there was no library or bookstore in my town. My neighbors told me that the nearest bookstore was many kilometers away and there were no free reading materials available. The lack of access and the desire for educational materials inspired me to create this library.
MWN: How can you describe your project?
Fernanda Sanchez: Last summer, I volunteered at a summer camp in El Jadida where the camp took the kids to their beach library for a day of reading. That is where I saw the boat bookcase that the Association Idriss Tachifini created. It was such an original idea. I spoke to the organizers of the project and asked them if they could send the boat to Moulay Bousselham, because I wanted to recreate a similar library.
Currently we have set up a boat bookcase, a library bus, a tent with tables and chairs, and a reading space with parasols near the beach. We have many activities that target youth, such as, games, storytelling, and art projects.
Our project is supported by a network that includes the local government, the Ministry of Culture and its regional director in Kenitra, Association Idriss Tachifini in El Jadida, many teachers who are active in the dar chabab, Association Al Amal, local volunteers, and Peace Corps volunteers.
MWN: What is your objective?
Fernanda Sanchez: The objective of this project is to encourage the youth in Moulay Bousselham to find inspiration in books and learning. I also hope that this project will influence the many tourists that visit from all over Morocco to take this idea back to their home and to ultimately create libraries in their communities if they do not have them. It is my goal that this library helps the youth of Moulay Bousselham and around Morocco to foster an environment where reading is fun and interesting.
MWN: We know there is a reading crisis in Morocco, do you think this project will encourage people to read?
Fernanda Sanchez: I believe that if you start teaching children at an early age that reading can be a magical and exciting experience, we can start to change this apathy towards literacy. We have already started to see the impact of this project. Some children who were not interested in reading at first have become enthusiastic readers because the beach library is a fun and comfortable place with many interesting books and educational games.
MWN: What dates is the library open?
Fernanda Sanchez: The beach library began on July 27th and will continue until August 11th. The reading materials will then be sent to different schools in Moulay Bousselham and in nearby communities.
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