WoW- Wheels of Wisdom (জ্ঞানের গাড়ি): “WoW- Wheels of Wisdom” was initiated during the first phase of the nationwide lockdown in Bangladesh for underprivileged students who do not have access to storybooks, the internet, or other means to use their time wisely. Other than the physical libraries we have in 28 underserved schools, we also have an e-library and a YouTube channel. However, it is difficult for underprivileged children to access these resources. Meanwhile, there were further hurdles when the government switched schools to online learning. Having Wi-Fi or a 24/7 internet connection was not feasible for them. In October of 2020, “WoW” was initiated in the form of a moving library that facilitates underprivileged children with books and internet at their convenient location. They can collect books and borrow hotspots from the wheels. Our librarians monitor every child’s watch history and what they are consuming. However, they can always read books physically. Our librarians have to undergo a special workshop where they learn all the duties and responsibilities, from driving a van to maintaining a register.
The project was initiated by crowdfunding, but later on, we received small International and National grants.
Till now, 16,000 children have borrowed 12,000 books and 48,000 hours of internet access from our three-wheelers in three regions in Bangladesh. Our three wheels run in 12 lower areas in Jashore, Mymensingh and Barisal where the roads can be very narrow and muddy, especially during the rainy season. Our mobile library model has been designed in such a way that it does not face any problems in such terrains. All in all, it is to ensure that our efforts to reduce the learning gap in such communities are never halted.”
We are one of the three winners of the 15th EIFL Public Library Innovation Award, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Program, for public libraries contributing to education recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were invited to represent Bangladesh through our “Wheels of Wisdom – WoW” project at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2022. WoW has been selected to participate in the Global Youth Mobilization 2022 Accelerator Programme, supported by the Big 6 organizations, WHO, and the United Nations Foundation, for scaling or replicating the impact. Additionally, we have been recognized as The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust Asia Pacific Youth Venture grant awardee for 2023.
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