With the violence receding and the parents and children of Anapra excited to learn, we believe the time is right for a library in Anapra.
For the past 20 years churches in Missouri and Kansas have partnered with volunteer leaders in Anapra to effect positive change in the lives of hundreds of families. Initially the efforts involved missionaries building homes and helping families to move from palette and tar paper dwellings to concrete-floored cinderblock homes. The need for assistance with school fees, supplies and uniforms was the next hurdle that many parents needed assistance with. The on-going scholarship program has provided hundreds of children with education from first grade through college. The children in the area, found wanting something to do through the long hot summer, are now able to attend a five week long VBS led by local mothers and supplied by churches in the U.S. And most recently the soaring food prices and extreme unemployment has meant children going without meals, some for days, and thus began a beans and rice dispensa to provide the basic staples of a Mexican kitchen.
Every program that has been instituted over these long 20 years of progress has demonstrated much about the people of Anapra. They have a strong resolve to make a better life for their children. They are willing to work hard, often right alongside volunteers constructing homes (even while pregnant), as well as at their own jobs which often require 12 hour shifts for six days a week. They appreciate and encourage accountability, writing strict guidelines for scholarship eligibility. And they love to learn.
As different churches and individuals step up to partner with our friends across the border, we continue to identify new areas of need. Back in 2007 a young woman expecting her first child was sent the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” in Spanish. The response from her, and her neighbors was overwhelming as we learned that they were passing the now well-worn book around from house to house as knowledge on matters of health and birthing are not common. We also learned of a mother whose baby was born with Down’s Syndrome for which the doctors had little advice but to “take him home and let him die.” When this mother was unsatisfied with this she contacted her friends in Kansas City who were able to provide her with Spanish literature on the care of infants with Down’s. Rather than laying her baby down to die this mother was able to provide her child with five beautiful months of life during which he was kept comfortable and cared for. These stories became the spark which, five years later would become the project of Pan de Libros. Since that chance gift was sent, we have inquired of local families, schools and local volunteer organizations to determine the need and how a library might be received. With the violence receding and the parents and children of Anapra excited to learn, we believe the time is right for a library in Anapra.