Since 2007, Orphan Helpers has been pursuing its goal of building 13 libraries in detention centers for incarcerated youth. Through a grant to to the Kiwanis Club of the Peninsula at Oyster Point, our foundation helped fund the construction of Orphan Helpers’ tenth library in El Sendero de Libertad in Ilobasco, El Salvador. The library will serve the 198 young boys, 13–18 years old, who are incarcerated there.
Shirley Daniels, Orphan Helpers volunteer library coordinator, said the library is the largest it has put together. It has a room for the books, a large reading room and room that doubles as a classroom and a study room. Even though it opened in August, college classes are already being held in the library.
“I’ve always believed the library should be at the heart of the institution and should welcome and include all parts of the program.” Daniels said.
The library currently has a display of ceramics made by the boys in the center’s workshop. In addition, the library’s shelves were made in the woodworking shop and a mural is being painted by the art class.
“Boys who have never owned a book can now enter a world where human and spiritual values are presented,” Daniels said. “Better social standards are exemplified in a setting where gangs are prevalent. Your generous grant has certainly made it possible to promote the Kiwanis goals and ideals.”