planting libraries in Ethiopia

Access to reading materials is key, that’s why we work tirelessly to bring books to children through schools, community libraries and our unique horse-powered literacy program.

Ethiopia Reads has planted over 70 libraries across Ethiopia; at least one in every region of the country. These libraries are a resource for tens of thousands of adults and children, as well as hundreds of teachers and schools directors. They are a safe and quiet place to study for exams. They are a place of learning and togetherness. And most important, they are a place to access the fundamental books that are often not accessible anywhere else.

We provide each library with furniture, books and educational materials, as well as training in literacy and librarianship. We offer long-term support for the library managers and staff. As a result, many of our library communities are thriving with weekly book-clubs and community story-times, and are bursting with people who simply love to read.

Ethiopia Reads Children’s Libraries

Quality in library services ranks high among Ethiopia Reads programmatic priorities. Many of our planted libraries are owned and sustained by other entities or organizations (such as local governments or other NGOs). We currently operate several children's community libraries which serve as models of practice and centers for training. 

Our mobile library program, “Horse Powered Literacy,” shares books with children in rural communities that have never had access to them before – reaching their villages by horse. 

Hawassa Reading Center

Established in 2006, the Hawassa Reading Center (HRC) is Ethiopia Read’s longest-running community library program. It is open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, and some weekends. The readers range widely in age and the center is always busy! Students seeking a quiet place to study outside of school hours take refuge in the center, alongside new readers, families and educators.

Click here to see more info about the Hawassa Reading Center.

Gebeta Library

The Gebeta Childrens Library has been serving the children in the Kebena neighborhood of Addis Ababa since its establishment on September 25, 2013. It is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and some weekends. Students typically range in age from 3-13 years old. Many are students who come after regular school hours, seeking a quiet and well-lit place to study.

Click here to see more info about the Gebeta Library.

Mobile Libraries

Mobile Libraries (Horse Powered Literacy program) means access to books and foundational literacy for hundreds of children living in hard-to-reach rural communities in Ethiopia.  The provision of books and basic literacy for children without access is part of Ethiopia Read's ongoing mission: to reach all communities with reading.

Click here to see more info about the Mobile Libraries and Horse Powered Literacy.