By Lena Dietz
ER’s Lena Dietz came to Quito, Ecuador, to use her gifts collecting and analyzing statistics to help ER be more productive. But along the way, she discovered her love of reading was something she enjoyed sharing with the girls being helped at an ER partner. Dunamis counsels and supports girls who have suffered through the painful experience of human trafficking. Here’s a little of what Lena learned through the reading club.
I started the Book Club for the Dunamis girls to share my love of reading with them. In Ecuador reading books is not very common even among middle class people.
I was pretty sure that most of these girls would never pick up a book on their own. And what a shame that would be! I know that the hundreds of books I have read in my life have been a bigger influence on me than anything else. These girls have had a limited number of positive influences in their lives, and organizations like Dunamis will only have a short period of time to influence them.
I felt that introducing them to reading was a way to expose them to the world outside of their small circles, to awaken their curiosity about the world, to allow them to see events from the point of view of the people in the book, and to discuss the choices and consequences people face. Most of the girls can read – some better than others – but the practice is still beneficial for them.
Also, reading builds their self confidence as they soon realize that everyone has trouble with the difficult words, and that books are meant for people like them. Books can help them get through tough times, and can teach them to make good choices. If they get nothing else out of the book club, they will at least know that they have read a book and, if they so choose, they can read a book in the future!
Learn more about Dunamis: http://www.extremeresponse.org/our-partners/the-americas#c5