It’s hard to understand how a little notebook can mean so much to someone, when there are amazing products like the iPhone and computers that can do anything and everything we could ever ask for. But the reality is that not everyone can have these things. Some people, in fact, don’t even know what an iPad is. I remember when I showed a little girl here in Nicaragua some photos on my iPhone one time and she was blown away by the fact that when I swiped my finger across the screen on the phone, that the photo would change to a different photo. She called it magic. And I suppose, it really is magical. But where did this idea come from? Imagination. Creativity.
When you live in a place where the average person lives on just $2 dollars a day, computers, TVs and iPhones aren’t even close to being a priority. But that doesn’t mean that the kids living in these conditions should be deprived of being able to be creative and learn. A notebook is the most basic form of where creativity can be recorded. Imagination can come to life as soon as a pencil hits the paper. Every child deserves the opportunity to learn and the lack of school supplies should never be the reason he or she cannot. Here, it’s more about the needs rather than the wants and that makes life a bit simpler, but no less beautiful than anywhere else. A little goes a long way here. Without a computer or any other typing device, what would you use to write down your thoughts, learn in school, draw, imagine and record your creativity? A notebook.
A notebook, to these kids, represents endless possibilities. The notebook is THEIRS. They can draw in it, write in it, use it for school, use it as a journal, write song lyrics in it–the possibilities are endless. It allows kids to be creative, use their imagination and gain confidence in their talent and skills. It’s an opportunity that many people get as a kid in the first world without thinking about it, but an opportunity that unfortunately doesn’t exist for everyone worldwide. We want to change this. We want to make sure that every kid who wants to learn or be creative has the tools to do so. They’re so simple, yet sometimes unattainable when mom is trying to just make sure there’s food on the table for all of her kids.
The value of a notebook to children here is priceless. It may be of higher value here than other places, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The children here can create change and help improve their own country but it starts with confidence, creativity and education. And it can all start with a notebook.
Since this article was written, Life Out of the Box has given notebooks to thousands of children throughout Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Morocco. To see them all, visit LOOTB Gives.