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If I don't read, I get bored

- 07/14/11  

Trainer Network | MAI
July-September 2011
In This Issue:
< Albania: Shantytown residents get new library
< "If I don't read, I get bored" 
< Pray: Editor training in Ghana
< Deliver Your Media with YouSendIt
< LittWorld 2012
< Hong Kong: MAI-Asia Publishing Forum
Hi, Friend!
"If I don't read, I get bored," is the catchy translated title of a reading campaign launched by SEPA. The Spanish word for "bored" (aburro) plays on similarity to the word donkey (burro). Nobody wants to become a donkey! And without readers, what good is a well-crafted book or article? In this issue, journey with us to Albania and Latin America to glean ideas for encouraging reading in your home, church, library or community.
-Dawn Herzog Jewell, editor

Albania: Shanty-town residents get new library  
The written word thrives in the bleakest conditions. In Bathore, Albania, a shantytown just outside the capital, Tirana, rural emigrants cluster in this squatter community. Many homes have gaping holes in walls and dirt floors, and often lack water, sewage and electricity.  After the collapse of Communism in the early 1990s, families arrived in Bathore seeking work near the big city. Today jobs are still scarce. 

Where basic needs like groceries and healthcare are in short supply, books and magazines are viewed as luxuries for the better-off. Yet Mission Possible (MP) Albania inaugurated the first community library in Bathore on April 2, International Children’s Book Day.
The library is housed in the mission’s three-story Hope Center, already a gathering place for sewing classes, a kindergarten (photo left), youth meetings and more. A Bible was the first book placed on the library’s empty shelves, “to serve as a blessing to the library and people who will come to read its books,” said Besa Shapllo, director of MP Albania.
Youth group members joined the celebration, and a few teenagers donated books to the library’s slowly growing supply (top photo). Other guests included women who had never entered a library before. Community members dubbed the library “The Good News of Bathore.”
Donors have outfitted the library with desks, chairs and shelves awaiting more books. Future patrons will access the Internet on donated desktop computers. Besa says the library will promote new books and host Bible reading activities. Collaborating with local schools, staff will also offer tutoring programs and a children’s literary circle. She hopes to hire a retired librarian to train new staff soon.
Albanians, as many as four in five who are Muslim, have long been served through MP Albania’s evangelism, education and community development programs. The mission also promotes reading through literacy classes and its Christian children’s magazine, Miracle, distributed in public schools and now in its fourteenth year. MAI has twice partnered with MP Albania to run writer-training workshops.
By Raquel Corbin, former MAI editorial intern
Photos courtesy Mission Possible Albania

"If I don't read, I get bored" 
Reading campaigns can have significant impact in Latin America. The Brazilian educator Paulo Freire talked of critical literacy as a means of enabling communities to gain access to information, to reflect upon it and thus resist oppression. The evangelical church has also placed great emphasis on reflective literacy, as men and women have read the Bible for themselves and been transformed.
Functional illiteracy is therefore a great concern for the Church and for Christian publishers.
>>Read Ian Darke's full article about how Christian publishers and booksellers can encourage reading. 

Pray: Editor Training in Ghana  
"Behind every effective author and every good book is a good editor," says Lawrence Darmani, MAI's Africa regional trainer. He and British editor Martin Manser will lead an editorial workshop in Ghana, August 21 to 27. 
Please pray that the workshop helps publishing staff develop the desire, attitude and practical know-how to nurture writers, especially new and struggling writers.
>>Read more  

Photo courtesy Anna Pugsley

Deliver Your Media with YouSendIt operates like an online shipping service. Just like the paper airplane that serves as its logo, YouSendIt delivers files back and forth between users, enabling sending, tracking and receiving of large digital files.
Online file-hosting services like YouSendIt eliminate the need to send material copies of media like CDs and DVDs, potentially saving sizeable international postage costs and time lags. Also, the increased size capacity (100 MB – 2GB) allows users to send picture and video files too large to be sent by email.
The main benefit of YouSendIt is simplicity; it provides quick, secure, one-way communication. Also, it allows users to send digital data to any email address. Recipients can access and download the files through their email even if they do not have YouSendIt accounts.
YouSendIt offers two-week free trials with credit card registration, and the basic option is available for free, with monthly fees for upgrades.

By Raquel Corbin, former MAI editorial intern

MAI’s unique international publishing conference, LittWorld 2012, will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, October 28 to November 2, 2012. 

Hong Kong:
MAI-Asia Publishing Forum
Join publishing professionals from across Asia for four days of intensive training on marketing- and editing-related topics. Top Christian editors and publishers from across the region will provide valuable input and instruction from their wealth of personal experience.
>>Watch a video about the Forum with Bernice Lee, chair of MAI-Asia.
Photo courtesy Kun Gim Peh