The Idea: The Power of a Book
Did you know that an astounding 250 million worldwide cannot read? One in five people are illiterate, and two-thirds of these people are women. In many countries around the world, poverty and lack of resources mean that educational conditions are deplorable. Children suffer without access to basic school supplies, such as pencils, notebooks, and — perhaps most importantly — books. Children who desperately want an education simply aren’t able to obtain one.
The Translation Company knows first-hand just how serious this problem is. Through a close friend of The Translation Company founders, the company learned of a Brazilian school that is doing great things to educate its students, creating an excellent learning environment in the midst of poverty. The school had won a tremendous amount of rewards in Brazil for its excellent performance on standardized tests, including mathematics and language tests. Yet the school lacked a library. The Translation Company was inspired to action by the students’ hard work, determination, and perseverance in spite of difficult circumstances. Establishing a project fund from company profits, The Translation Company set out to provide the school with a much-needed library, donating more than 200 books to the school.
“We could see firsthand the lack of resources the children and wondered how much more they could accomplish if they have a library were they could research, read, and be able to have access to interesting books,” explained TTC CEO. “Not to mention the fact that we wanted these students and teachers to know that we valued their hard work and determination.”
Sometimes just one book can make a big difference in the life of a child. The Translation Company set out on a long journey to equip this school with a well-deserved library, working to enhance the children’s educational opportunities and expand their horizons.
The Donation Process
Once The Translation Company decided to take action, the first step was to actually purchase the books. The team traveled to Brazil and set out to find an affordable, quality publisher. Resources at the school are scarce — the principal works for free, while most teachers receive around USD$700 per month for full-time work. So The Translation Company wanted to maximize the impact of its donation. The goal was purchase as many books as possible for the school, so finding an affordable publisher was absolutely crucial. But as books are incredibly expensive in Brazil, this was no easy task.
The team specifically searched for publishers that provide discounts for charity projects, scouring book fairs and searching online. The team eventually lucked out and was able to purchase more than 200 books from a quality Brazilian publisher. Luciano Oliveira was charged with choosing the specific books to be sent to the school. He was well aware of the unique needs and the culture of the school receiving the books and made sure the books he chose reflected and fulfilled these needs. Luciano also wanted to ensure that while the books were educational, they were also entertaining. He searched through stacks of books to find the most vibrant, engaging tales to bring to the children.
Getting books from Sao Paulo, a bustling city of millions, into the depths of the Amazon was no easy feat.
Transportation was accomplished via trucks from Sao Paulo to Manaus, and the books were then transported via river from Manaus to Maues. All in all, the process took close to two months.
All of the time and effort was well worth it, however, just to see the children’s faces when they received the books.
All of the pupils were ecstatic, and several were even moved to the point of tears.
Teachers were just as grateful as the pupils for The Translation Company’ gift. “Reading is the most important source of knowledge,” explained Lygia Magnane, the principal of the school.
“Through it one can unravel his or her own universe as well as the external world. And reading is also capable of opening the mind of the reader in a manner that enables the achievement of the highest levels of success desired.”
In light of the resounding success of this project, The Translation Company is hoping to replicate the project at other schools in need.
“Our company prides ourselves in education, especially in different languages,” explained Luciano Oliveira, the CEO at The Translation Company.
“It would be an honor to be able to contribute to the world in educating those who do not have the facility or the option of receiving the required education most children receive.”