Twelve-year-old bookworm launches favela library in Brazil

Updated: Mar 13, 2020, 11:16 AM(IST)

A 12-year-old girl has opened a library in Brazil hoping to help other residents access a world that can be all too remote from Brazil's impoverished favelas.

Let's take a look at the thoughtful initiative taken by the girl:

Lua's World 

Raissa Luara de Oliveira has amassed a collection of 18,000 books inside a small tin-roof room at a local community centre for her new library called 'Lua's World'.



Safe haven for bookworms

The library is a cozy space lined with pillows, and immaculately packed with books.


Defiant adolescent

"At 12, I've done more for my neighbourhood than you've done in your whole term," she recently told Rio's mayor, the far-right evangelical pastor Marcelo Crivella, in a defiant video she posted online.


From favela to fame

The idea for the library was born six months ago, when Oliveira was at a book fair.

"I saw a mom telling her daughter she couldn't afford to buy her a book for three reals," she says.

"I said to myself, 'You have to do something.'"


Impersonated grandmother

Surreptitiously using her grandmother's cell phone, she sent out a Facebook post asking for book donations.

Then, pretending to be her grandmother, she sent a message to the vice-president of the local community association, asking her to give her a space to create a library.

The woman, Vania Ribeiro, guessed right away it was Oliveira. But she agreed to the plan.


Successful project

Oliveira's bubbly video message went viral, leading to invitations to appear on a string of TV programmes.

Her project is so successful it has been receiving around 1,500 books a week, way more than her small library can hold.

Behind the shelves, she has boxes full of books she wants to donate to similar projects elsewhere in Rio and in Brazil's poor Northeast.


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