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Mobile Tricycle Library For The Homeless In Brazil

August 26, 2012

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This is an incredible story about a former homeless man that after reading the book “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, managed to get off the streets and now manages one of the most innovative projects of Public Libraries ever heard – A Mobile Library On a Tricycle.

61-year-old Robson Mendonça was homeless a year ago until he read George Orwell’s book while he was learning how to read. It inspired him to get off the streets in Sao Paulo. He figured that if reading could help him, it could also help other homeless people as well. He then started collecting books through donations and delivering them to the homeless. However, with a small backpack and the weight of the books, it limited his wish to deliver greater quantity of books to more homeless people.

Intrigued by his story, Green Mobility Institute built a tricycle, the Bicicloteca, for him so that he can carry 300 books per day, without the need for fuel. It is a sustainable, cheap and safe vehicle. Furthermore, through the partnership with AES Eletropaulo, Bicicloteca received a renewable 100% clean energy system that captures the solar energy and uses it to power the on board 3G wireless router and shares the internet access with others on the street.

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With Bicicloteca, Mendonça has loaned 5,000 books in two months of operation. State campaign through radio and TV stations managed to raise 12,000 books that were donated by the community.

You can read more about the Bicicloteca project at

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