Episode 3 – Village Book Builders
Christine Reidhead talks with Tyler Clark, CEO of Village Book Builders. Their entire vision is to bring hope through books. They build village libraries in remote villages around the world.
Tyler and his wife built their first library in 2015, but officially as an organization for just over a year.
Tyler was in Mexico for two-years and just loved the people. As he kept in contact with them, he realized that there were no libraries in the villages. He and his wife starting fundraising to build their first library.
Go Fund Me assigned a PR person to help them raise funds and they were able to get in contact with news stations and got a lot of advertising.
After their first library, another teacher reached out to them. But with no building, it would cost about $10,000. Volunteers paid a fee to go build the building and then they used part of the money to pay for the materials.
They made a deal with the village that they would provide the materials if they would build the building. For three months they worked on the library. That library has been in operation now for a year and a half. They doubled their academic scores in six months.
The have twenty two people in their organization, nine on the board and nine staff. It’s all volunteer. They are looking to add more people in the next couple months.
Tyler shared some of their biggest challenges is getting the schools to report to them. In order to receive more books and computers they have to report quarterly. We’ve had some amazing successes but also some good learning experiences.
That’s the problem with charity work is if you don’t do it right, you can do more damage than good.
A book costs about $5 and can affect 110 children.
Tyler stated they have to be really careful, they have to train the children and the staff on how libraries are ran.
They’ve built five libraries, four in Mexico and one in Africa.
They fund most of the libraries through volunteers who come with them. Have locals do what they’re good at, building. Volunteers go around and do home visits. They do a theater class to allow them to expand their imagination. Retrain them how to use their imagination otherwise they won’t understand Harry Potter.
Come on one of our expeditions, donate on our website, or become a mentor.
Mentors are matched up with children. Children send a book report each month and the mentor emails back and forth with them.
New libraries are coming to Nepal, Amazon and Mawali.
The Boy who Harnessed the Wind will be at the library in Mawali. They may also build a windmill.
Another library will be build after Christmas in Mexico and then another one in Kenya. Haiti library is on hold until the situation gets better.
Visit villagebookbuilders.org for more information.