May 5, Thursday evening -- Reading Robert Chambers

Waiting for a friend on Valencia Street in the Mission District
Reading Participatory Workshops: A Sourcebook of 21 Sets of Ideas and Activities, before she returns to Southeast Asia where she will teach women how to give leadership workshops to young women. These young women are at-risk, for human trafficking and other crimes or in need of guidance.

I asked her about the young women's reading preferences and if she recommends books to them in her leadership training and she said that, unfortunately, the books they are able to read are limited. They do not live in urban areas and many books haven't been translated into their native languages. Many now have the Harry Potter books available to them, but it's limited. So, they read mostly locally produced comic-like books, similar in format to the Archie comics, though about all different subjects, that they rent at stores.

We talked about how lucky we are that, as English speakers, we have so many books available to us. I also asked her about her thoughts on how e-books could increase the availability of books in translation. Of course, there would be the challenge of providing e-readers, but she did say that the organization One Laptop Per Child has given some children laptops in the region. These laptops are designed for education are not connected to the internet, but are connected to each other and the children learn computer skills and collaborate with each other.

Her favorite book is The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai.

Within the next ten years, how will the availability of books and translations change, with technology? Maybe we'll donate our old iPhones so kids all over can read books that have been translated by volunteers?

1 Comment:

pilgrimchick said...

Wow--she is doing great work. I hope it makes a difference for those young women.