Return to Portfolio Home

Davis Projects funds mobile library for Nicaragua

Posted: 03/17/2011

Portfolio: Davis Projects funds mobile library

Jenna Cameron ’11 and Taliah Hope-Griffith ’12 have won a $10,000 grant from Davis Projects for Peace to support their “Peace-Mobile”—a mobile library in rural Nicaragua.

Cameron, an Honors Forum member majoring in social work and minoring in Spanish, and Hope-Griffith, an anthropology major and Latin American studies minor, were inspired when they visited some of Nicaragua’s coffee camps last January. They participated (with other college students) in a service project coordinated by Cornell Cooperative Extension in partnership with Planting Hope, a non-profit organization. That’s where the students saw first-hand the value of simple things, like books. (The photos in this Portfolio were taken during that January 2011 visit.)

Upon returning to Skidmore the pair joined forces to complete an application for a mobile library, which they plan to share among the villages near Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Lending libraries are not very common in this region and the students believe it will “dramatically increase educational opportunities for community members, improve the quality of current schooling, and provide a pathway to learning about and discussing particular issues of conflict in the community.”

This summer Cameron will go to Nicaragua to create the library in partnership with Planting Hope and La Chispa Library. She will purchase a used bus, appropriate books and materials, and encourage involvement by Matagalpa community members. She will work with them to plan programming such as story hours and book groups. Next fall, Hope-Griffith will oversee sustainable collaboration for the Peace-Mobile on campus.

The Skidmore students are among students from more than 90 campuses who will collectively receive more than $1 million in funding this summer for projects in all regions of the world, from the Davis Projects for Peace fund. Philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis launched the program in 2007 to celebrate her 100th birthday. Each year since, she has renewed her challenge to motivated youth to design and employ innovative techniques that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding, and breaking down barriers that cause conflict.

Click on a thumbnail to view larger image and scroll through entire gallery