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The Right to Read

Hiba Books 2

By Hiba Ouzaouit (YES 2017 – 2018, Morocco, hosted by World Link in Grimes, IA)

When I was an exchange student, volunteering at the school's library was my cup of tea. Since a child, I was a "bookaholic", and I was largely given my right to read. Being surrounded by books, and being able to serve in the library, was one of the best things I experienced in the USA. Every day that I volunteered there, I thought that American students are very lucky to have this amazing amount of books provided for them, all kinds, all types... 

Hiba Books 1

Unfortunately, once back home, I was struck with the fact that this very important right is not being given to everyone here. For example, in October, I found out that there is a new middle school that does not have a library; not a single book! 

This made me very frustrated and upset, and it motivated me to start my first YES alumni project to provide this school with a library. Students should have books! Every single child should be able to read, whenever they want, and wherever they are, especially in a school, where they come to seek education. 

I started fundraising and asking for book donations right away, promoting for my project on social media and spreading the word everywhere. Thanks to many people who supported my vision, after two months I have been able to collect 300 books including novels, encyclopedias, and even dictionaries. 

Hiba Books 3

December 10th will always remain unforgettable for me, as that was the day I delivered the books to the school. The smile on the students' faces was priceless. Giving back to community is not always easy, but the result is always very satisfying.

The student felt valued, just the way they should be. The library is still small, but don't we say, "Start small to realize BIG"? This project is not over, and it will never be. We will all keep working to make the library bigger, and bring as many books as possible. Books are a right, not a privilege!

These kids were happy because thy will have access to a precious treasure from now on, yet I was the happiest because I didn't let down the promise I made to myself - to change the world and make it a better place!

Read more about Hiba's YES journey in her story from last year, Dreams Coming True in Iowa.


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