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May 14, 2023 News
Canada-based Guyanese Eshranie Dhorie is a Special Person
By Rehanna Ramsay
Kaieteur News – When she was a young girl growing up in a small village in Guyana, Canada-based Guyanese Eshranie Dhori spent a lot of time reading, visualizing, and imagining herself in many of the places described in the books. Today, she has created a space where she can do the same for children in her village.
The Canada-based Guyanese has created a nurturing environment for learning new things through her non-profit ‘Little Library,’ which was built on her parents’ property in Bee Hive, East Coast Demerara.
The ‘Little Library’ serves up to five surrounding communities. Children have access to books five days a week and a safe space to go and read and socialise.
She noted that “Children who regularly attend that library have shown improvement in their grades at school. As I am writing this article I am reflecting on how the ‘Little Library’ went from an idea of making books accessible to children to getting the books to the children, to seeing their faces lit up with joy and wonder is most fulfilling. ”
This week’s Special Person told the Waterfalls “The Little Library was established in 2017. I started a registered non-profit organization in Canada called: ‘Universal Source of Abundance’ and ‘Little Library (Guyana) Inc.’ this falls under the umbrella of ‘Universal Source of Abundance.’
Dhori noted, “I am Guyanese birth. Migrated to Canada in 1999 and currently reside there. I attended Cove and John High School and the University of Guyana. I also attended the University of Toronto and I am currently a business owner in Toronto Canada.”
Dhori revealed “I am the founder and executive director of the “Little Library (Guyana) Inc. My Co-Director of the project is Ferial Khan a Guyanese-born Canadian business owner, and a former teacher of the Peel District School Board in Canada.”
Dhori said that Khan dedicates a lot of her time and effort to the Little Library.
“Also my husband Damon Budhram, my friend and fellow businesswoman from Guyana Sophia Dolphin…family, friends and a host of other contributors that are too numerous to mention are to be credited for the work we do through the Little Library.”
Besides this, Dhori is also a Rotarian in Toronto Canada who strongly believes that children should be given all the help and guidance possible to ensure their success in life.
The founder recalled that as a child, books created a natural way of escape and dream beyond the experiences of her little village.
She said “My only access to books in the beginning was through her uncle who had a collection of Louis L’Amour books”
Dhori said, “I read and reread them voraciously and I loved every minute of it. It was an escape for me into a whole new world outside of my small village. That is when I started dreaming of the myriad possibilities and I have never stopped since. Through reading, my world grew bigger and so did my dreams.”
She explained that, “reading has impacted my life and has allowed me to create many milestones. I suddenly had a thirst for knowledge. Coming from a small farming and fishing village and being able to graduate high school and move on to university was not an easy feat back then. With the unconditional support and encouragement of parents and great teachers, I was able to accomplish the first of my dreams.”
The founder explained that her Guyanese upbringing gave her the literacy foundation she needed to assist her throughout her academic journey. She said that along with her uncle, her teachers particularly her former headmaster, Mr Franklyn Longhorn have all been instrumental in her efforts to establish the community library which has provided a service to hundreds of children since 2017.
MIGRATING TO CANADA
When she migrated to Toronto Canada, Dhori continued her studies at the University of Toronto and is currently a successful business owner.
The woman explained that she started making frequent trips back to Guyana in and around 2002 to visit friends and family in my village. She said that it was during one of those trips that she started to notice the need for a safe place for children to learn and play.
She said, “As I was interacting with the children in the community, I began to see myself in so many of their little faces. That sense of wonder, constant curiosity, and playfulness with so much potential. I began to think of my personal journey and how I can make a difference and support their dreams.”
The businesswoman continued, “That was the eureka moment for me, and that began my journey to making books accessible to all children.”
Dhori noted that the journey started with self-reflection on how literacy had a significant impact on her academic and present success. “Most importantly,” she said, “seeing a child’s potential and advocating for their success is what makes this endeavor priceless.”
As a result, she reached out to her headmaster at the community high school I attended, Mr. Longhorn. Dhori recalled that her former principal saw her potential and strongly advocated for me to attend a secondary school.
“He changed the trajectory of my life at that moment. For that, I am eternally grateful to him. Encouraged by my personal experience with Mr. Longhorn’s advocacy on my behalf, I began to envision how I can make an impact not just for one child but for the whole community. That is when the idea of making books accessible to all children in my community was born,” she said.
Shortly after this, the founder recalled that with the help and support of family and friends in Canada, the ‘Little Library’ was built on her parents’ property in Bee Hive East Coast Demerara.
Today, the ‘Little Library’ serves up to five surrounding communities. Children have access to books five days of a week and a safe space to come and read at the Library.
“When they need help to learn how to read, Natasha Baksh our phenomenal Library Keeper helps them. In addition, we provide a hot, healthy meal once per week,” Dhori disclosed.
Added to this she revealed that for the first time last year, we ran a six weeks summer programme which I am happy to say was remarkably successful as we had over 60 children registered and attended.
The founder said that, “With the dedication and devotion of my co-director, Ferial Khan, and family and friends, the ‘Little Library’ has grown over the past two years with an expansion of the space: both indoors and outdoors, and with the addition of computers and printers for children to research and print their homework.”
According to her, the success of the project is reflected by the improved literacy rates of the children.
Dhori said, “To know that a child while learning to read can also dream of many possibilities makes all the demanding work that goes with this, a worthwhile endeavor.”
“If I could write a letter to my seven-year-old self, it would be to say: “I see you reading, reading for hours, it would change your life. Everything will be ok; knowing how to read will open many doors for you”.
The businesswoman said her goal is to establish little libraries in various villages across Guyana. She said that “with our diligence and commitment and the blessings of our supporters, friends, and family our goal is to reach as many small villages across Guyana as we can, with special attention to remote regions.”
Details: The Little Library can be found on the website: www.littlelibrary.ca
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