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The Jeepney of Hope, a Mobile Library for the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center ~ Philippines


When WaterBridge Outreach donated copies of Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown to the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center in Manila as part of our books and water outreach program, the story convinced Ana Maria Bacudio that she could do something similar in the Philippines. Ms. Ana is chief storyteller and project leader at the nongovernment, all volunteer Dagdag Dunong Reading Center, and was inspired by Waiting for the Biblioburro to create a mobile library to bring books to the desperately poor indigenous children in remote areas on the island of Mindoro, who have no books, and to conduct storytelling sessions with them. The result: a “biblioburro” for Dagdag Dunong in the form of a brand new silver dune-buggy style jeep called the “Jeepney of Hope” loaded with books in Tagalog and English — and funded by WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water.

Ana Maria Acevedo Bacudio, a medical technologist at the Manila Health Department, established the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center in 2006 to conduct read-along activities on the weekends for poor children under age 12. Under her direction as Project Leader and Storyteller, the center caters to children every day, nourishing their minds with books and their bodies with meals. Ana Maria Bacudio received Mayor Alfredo Lin’s Plaque of Recognition for rendering exemplary service in the field of education, and in 2012 the Dagdag Dunong Center was nominated for the IBBY- Asahi Reading Promotion Award.

In Sept. 2021, with funding from WaterBridge Outreach, the 2nd Dagdag Dunong Reading Center was opened. This center will serve indigenous and impoverished Mangyan children residing in Baco, Mindoro, Philippines. The reading center is constructed of cement, designed to be typhoon and flood proof, and contains a dry, secure garage on the lower level for the Jeepney of Hope.

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