“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution.” – Malala Yousafzai

Day 3 Wide-13

One of the 47 communities in which Mano a Mano has built a school throughout Bolivia

Last Friday Malala Yousafzai addressed the United Nations to appeal for free, compulsory education for every child. From the New York Times (click here to see the full article):

In a speech at the United Nations on her 16th birthday, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting education for girls in Pakistan, called on world leaders to provide “free, compulsory education” for every child.

You can see her speech in its entirety in the NY Times article, which was very impressive and is worth your time.

The Difference the Basics Can Make on Education

Donating books and school supplies in Arani - June 2013

Donating books and school supplies in Arani – June 2013

Just as Malala said in her speech, little things like a single book can make a huge difference to help in a child’s education. For just one example, last year Mano a Mano received a request for a donation of school supplies from Nahir Jusitiniano de Ticona, a teacher in San Lorenzo, Bolivia:

What we need most are school supplies, because the children often don’t have anything to write with, or write on, or to read. One book must be shared throughout the entire grade…


The children only have one notebook. What we teachers do is have them write everything in pencil and when all twenty or fifty pages of their notebooks are full ‐ that’s ALL they get ALL YEAR ‐ we begin to erase the first page and they write there, then the second page, and so on.


We do this so they’ll have somewhere to write, because if didn’t, they wouldn’t have anywhere to do it.

Education is the Future for Rural Bolivians

This is why we collect donated school supplies in the US and ship them to Bolivia. This is why we build schools, in partnership with Bolivian communities, so that children have a comfortable environment to learn in. We also build teacher housing as part of the school project to ensure that we can retain teachers (with 47 school projects built, we have not had any difficulties in retaining teachers, even though we work in very isolated communities).

How You Can Help

If you are interested in helping Mano a Mano improve education in Bolivia, there are a number of ways you can get involved:

  • Make a donation – you can specify a specific project such as ‘building a school’ or ‘shipping supplies’
  • Volunteer at our office and help sort and pack school supplies for shipment to Bolivia
  • Get involved in our Ninos a Ninos project – young Minnesotans are working to raise enough money to build a school in Bolivia with Mano a Mano
A donated book from Mano a Mano in Sancayani

A donated book from Mano a Mano makes a child’s day in Sancayani