Arriba las manos!, Colombia

Literacy is vital for individuals to fully be able to participate in society and for societies to evolve. Fundacíon Arriba las Manos! is a small nonprofit organization run by the sisters Teresa and Aurora since 2010. When visiting the village Ararca in Colombia the sisters realized 1 out of 5 adults were illiterate they decided to do something about the situation.

Ararca is located in a remote area of ​​Colombia, where the majority of the population are descendants of slaves brought to the country many hundreds of years ago. Here, the population has historically had less choice and poorer opportunities to create a better life. Arrbias las manos’ vision is to eradicate poverty in Ararca. This by improving education for vulnerable children and contributing to the development of society. A majority of the children do not have access to educational material outside the classroom. This leads to poor reading habits and low levels of reading comprehension.

Today Arriba las manos! runs a library for 300 school children in the area were they receive help with their home work and are able practice their reading skills after school hours. The organization has one librarian working halftime and now they wish to extend working hours to fulltime. This way the library could be open 8 hours a day Monday-Friday and more children would have access to help, giving them a chance to create a better life for themselves.