malagasy children in front of mobile library

Building the Bibliobus (Library Bus)

Since 1905, Rotarians have placed service to their communities and to the world above themselves. Local Rotary clubs like ours embody the idea of putting selflessness into action.

This year, Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club is partnering with Rotary Club Tsimbaroa in Antananarivo, Madagascar on an exciting literacy project and we need your help!

The Bibliobus (library bus) will navigate through rural neighborhoods in and around Antananarivo (the capital city) to bring books and internet access to residents who don’t have a library. 

The Need

  • 75% of Malagasy people live on less than $1.90/day. For comparison only 1.2% of the U.S. population lives on less than $1.90/day. Source: The World Bank 
  •  85% of homes in Madagascar do not have access to electricity. Meaning, an inability to access the internet. Source: The World Bank 
  • More than 1.3 million children (60% of pre-primary school-aged children) are not enrolled in school contributing to deep education/literacy inequality from the start. Children enrolled in pre-primary school are twice as likely to to be on track to early literacy.  Source: Unicef 
  • The adult literacy rate  (ages 15-24) is 80.6% , an improvement in recent years yet more work needs to be done. Literacy = the ability to  both read and write with comprehension of a short simple statement. 

The Impact

The library will have a huge impact on children, parents and educators in the region, with the club expecting to serve 54,000 people who haven’t accessed the internet before.

By 2022, the bibliobus will serve:

  • 144,000 library users
  • 72,000 internet users by 2022.
  • Two librarians will be present at all times to manage books and welcome young people and community members in the bibliobus.

View the project presentation, here.

Help Us Bring the Bibliobus to Life

Join us in our mission to create healthier, more prosperous communities through the bibliobus. Our fundraising efforts run now through December 31, 2021. In the meantime, we will be applying for grant funding through Rotary District 5870 as well as the Rotary Foundation to help us meeting our $40,000 goal. 

All donations are tax deductible. 

Project Updates

October 2021: After presenting to the District of 5870 Central Texas leadership team, we were approved for $18,600 in district designated funding. Combined with the contributions of our district partners: Cedar Park-Leander, South Austin, Killeen Heights, West Austin, E-Club and money raised at our virtual concert fundraiser, we are now at $25,400! 

The next step will be finalizing our global grant application to be submitted to the Rotary Foundation to secure more funding.  We are incredibly thankful for such an amazing district filled with great partners.