Local group raises money to fund libraries in Africa

The Imag1neers pose at their fundraising event at Newhall Park on Sunday, July 16, 2017. Courtesy Photo

Local residents Miriam Robles and Uri Rodriguez both feel most comfortable with a book in their hands and their families at their sides in one of Santa Clarita’s many public libraries.

“We are so lucky in Santa Clarita to have amazing libraries,” Robles said. “My kids are there at least two times per week and they check out about ten books each.”

Robles and Rodriguez realize how lucky they are to have access to these resources – and recognize that many do not.

“We know in other countries one of the needs is education and so we decided to make an impact,” said Robles.

Out of this desire to spread literacy to the developing world, particularly countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Imag1neers was born.

The Imag1neers, a group that consists of eight people, came together to raise funds to spread education.

On Saturday, the group held a fundraiser in Newhall Park. The event featured food, games and overall family fun in hopes of raising money.

They have an aim to establish five new libraries in Africa, each of which requires a minimum of 1,000 books in order to be founded.

Originally the group aimed to obtain enough books for merely one library, but the friends quickly realized that they could contribute more and upped the goal to five.

Each batch of 1,000 books costs roughly $500 to acquire – bringing the grand total of their endeavor to about $2,500.

Once they have received enough books they will work closely with the African Library Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to increase literacy rates on the continent in order to distribute the books and create the libraries.

In addition to helping impact the broader world, Robles, Rodriguez and their group hope to prove a point within the Santa Clarita Valley.  

“Sometimes individually we cannot do it, but if we get together we can make the difference,” said Rodriguez. 

The Imag1neers are seeking donations. More information is available on their Facebook page.

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