The Education Community Hope and Opportunity (ECHO) Refugee Library, founded by four volunteers in 2016, is a mobile library that seeks to provide valuable reading experiences for young adults forced out of education.
While Laura Samira Naude and Esther ten Zijthoff were working in refugee camps in Greece, they “realized that the people they met needed more than food and shelter: they wanted to study, to work for their future and to find a sense of purpose,” The Guardian reported.
With some friendly support from connections in London and Belgium, the two of them decorated one minibus with shelves filled with books and computer stations. Inside this mobile library, readers will find books written in languages such as Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi, French, Greek and English. In total, their collection entails 1,3000 volumes as of November last year. On a regular week, they would welcome an average of 115 readers
“We have also lost many books along the way, as they inevitably go missing, and sometimes, especially with language-learning books, we let people keep them and then make copies to keep up with the demand,” says Zijthoff to the Guardian.
In addition to circulating through five different camps, ECHO also provides IELTS certificate training and offers career advices. For those who are forced to spend time waiting on the decision of their lifetime, ECHO provides a glimpse of hope through education.
Feature image courtesy of David Lohmueller via the Guardian