Several York students once again camped out in two of York’s libraries for one week. And no, it wasn’t to get ahead on their reading or studying, although they may have. Instead, it was the annual Live-in For Literacy campaign to raise awareness and funds to build libraries and schools in developing countries.
Two campers – Fraser Davies and Holly Penick (right) – set up tents in Scott Library, while another two students – Alicia Gutierrez, along with Joni Iliazi (above) – were in Steacie Library, from Jan. 18 to 24, where they ate, slept, campaigned and met many of York’s students, faculty and staff.
Led by Shane Hebel, a fourth-year Schulich School of Business student at York, the Live-in For Literacy event was once again a huge success.
“This has been an amazing year for the campaign and we ended up raising approximately $2,500, all of which will be donated directly to Room To Read. We’re the only University in Canada to have expanded the campaign to more than one campus library,” says Hebel.
“The Live-in For Literacy has been a roller coaster ride since I helped co-found the organization four years ago. We’ve gone from camping out in one library to having a presence in three and have raised more than $10,000 in the past four years.”
From left, Vaishi Yogendran, Shane Hebel and Shangana Ehamparam
This year, students at Ottawa University, Queen’s University and Laurentian University also ran the event in their University libraries with the goal of raising $20,000. Live-in For Literacy events have raised more than $170,000 in total since 2005, which translated into nine libraries being built in Nepal, five in India and a computer lab in Cambodia.
One of Hebel’s motivations to start the Live-in For Literacy event was his belief that literacy and education are key to eradicating poverty.
“The campaign is unique because of the level of awareness that it promotes about a really important cause,” he says. “Literacy is seen as one of the main drivers of innovation and change in our society, and being part of promoting it for people who don’t have it is an incredible and humbling experience.”
For anyone who missed the campers, there is still time to donate by visiting the Live-in For Literacy website.