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Public Mini Libraries

by El Desafio Foundation
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries
Public Mini Libraries

You wake up in the morning and get ready for your day. You've already planned it, and what's ahead it's not new for you. You did it already many times, so you know what to expect. However, after the day is over, you realized how nice is to live and experience new flavours and emotions each time.

In our last report we've told you about the new minilibraries coming. We planned to install 10 more at Rosario city before end of July, and already two are up and running.Together with volunteers from Banco Macro, visitors from US Global Sport Mentoring Program project and Saatchi & Saatchi LA we installed new minilbraries in different parks in Rosario.
At this point, these little houses full of books became a social movement impacting thousands of citizens that enjoy reading and telling stories to their kids in a sunny day at the park. But more amanzingly, is to see every single time that these wooden boxes are uniting and connecting people in ways we couldn't imagine...(well, to be honest we did imagine it, but we needed to see it happen anyway). Girls from rich high schools becoming friends with peers living in shanty towns, american profesionnals making bonds with youngsters from Rosario's districts and girls from 15 years old listening to stories of a woman of 70 years old are only some stories that we witness everytime.

These facts are not just isolated stories with no link between each other. It's the construction of the community feeling that every society needs to progress, to resolve issues and to live happy. Finding things in common with each other, listening, to stand for a moment on someone's else shoes creates empathy and a sense of collaboration, that is urgently needed in Argentina.

Thanks for your support, we are creating social change in bigger scale every month. We are accelerating our impact, and if we keep on getting your support to promote our cause great things will come!

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The new minilibrary
The new minilibrary

So the day finally came. The one that everyone was telling us about with a clear pessimistic view. It happened, like people told us. And we were ready for it, and made a huge impact with it.

Two weeks ago, one of our minilibraries was vandalized and destroyed. Not even 24hs later we had the local news TV reporter in our front door to interview us. "How are you coping with this terrible situation", he asked us in a tragedy mood. "Terrible? What is terrible about it? This scenario was part of the project, it is just a stage in were we can actually show people how to deal with it and learn about it". The reporter was surprised and admiring our answer at the same time.

Five days later, we were replacing the old minilibrary with one of the spare ones we had for this situations. But more important, we were taking the oppportunity to make a big statement about how to build a better country. Its about not giving up, insisting, getting up after falling, renewing your ideas and values when you its more difficult than ever. And everyone was getting the message. People in social media that are first were angry with vandals were cooling down and telling others 'Dont worry, this is just something we need to learn and pass'. Media coverage was huge, people awareness raised, book donations increased and even new donors joined. What else we can expect?

Coming month we are starting to install 10 more new libraries we have ready for Rosario, together with Banco Macro employees and volunteers. And we are planning for 20 more, but this time in other cities and towns. The minilibraries became an incredible platform to build healthy communities in where people connect with each other and participate in something that belongs to everyone. And this mindset can also be used to address big social problems in the country.

Thanks to your support, we can keep on creating moments and scenarios were people can feel, think and act with the whole country in mind!


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In our last report we've told you about "El Desafio Festival", a 3-day event that we were planning to do late September and that was going to inspire eveyone with talks, debates and discussions about social issues and how to resolve them. However we had to postpone the festival for March/April 2015, due to some sponsors and supporters that couldn't participate as they said this time. We would love to do it last month, but sometimes things don't go exactly as you expected. In the positive side, we will have more time to make the event even greater than before!

Meanwhile, we are building 10 new mini libraries to be installed in the city, making a total of 14 overall! Thanks to our agreenment with Banco Macro, the new 'minis' will be completely funded by them and installed together with our volunteers and the bank's employees. So far 54000 people have been in contact with minilibraries and they are attracting more and more attention from the public, including the press that keeps on talking about it. Even chinese TV was interested in our work and broadcasted a small documentary about us (you can watch it here

Thanks to your support we can keep on generating in argentinean society a more commited attitude towards social problems, which is key to resolver the problems in the long term. This year only more than 350 people joined our volunteers database, which shows a growing commited mindset in society.

Thanks a lot for your support and please stay tuned for more updates soon.

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Inspiring is key to our work. Talking of social change might sound abstract to many people, or empty of content. Specially for argentinean people that are frustrated for years now waiting for the situation to change. So when we talk about change, the most common response is full of skepticism. This force us to be innovative, creative and very concrete in our actions. Words are 'blown by the wind' argentineans say, so we have to act. And we have lot of ideas.

After putting in place 3 mini libraries earlier this year the impact has been huge. Not only they are still standing in perfect conditions, but most important is that people are actively participating in the maintenance, donating books, taking pictures and asking details to replicate the experience in other districts. We've also seen a lot of media attention thanks to this and an increase of people interested in volunteering and getting involved.

A new initiative we are working on is "El Desafio Festival" will be a 3 days event in where we'll invite people, companies, press, students, hipsters, thinkers, dreamers, sporters, students, leaders and everyone to debate about the creation of a happy city. The space will be open daily and our participants, staff and volunteers will be connecting with guests to tell our story and our actions to make a better place for everyone. Conferences, talks, debates, DJ sessions, art & urban workshops will be in the daily agenda, together with a pop-up restaurant catered by participants of our cooking program. We expect to reach 3000 people during the festival. 

So thanks to you, since your support is why we can keep on doing the great work we are doing. 

All the best!

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After successfully installation of new minilibraries we are moving forward to our next project which will put in the public agenda some subjects that Argentina is dealing with -not in a very smart way-, like criminality, drug dealers, quaility of public education and youth development. The idea is to make people think about these issues and show what approaches the country and society has been taking about them. We are developing a software and small documentaries for each issue of one and a half minute that will be showned in social media and also with our own tablets walking in the streets and asking people to participate. After the documentary, people will have to take a stand on the issue.

It has been intense this year and thanks to our 50 permanents volunteers we are reaching and inspiring more people to step in and share our dream of a better reality.

Thanks for your support we can keep on innovating and moving forward!

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Organization Information

El Desafio Foundation

Location: Rotterdam, Zuid Holland - Netherlands
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @eldesafio
Project Leader:
Mario Raimondi
Rosario, Santa Fe Argentina

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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