Building schools and libraries, putting books in the hands of children!


Making a difference since
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in Ethiopia

We helped build
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schools

We started
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libraries

We serve
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children anually

Here is what we do for children in Ethiopia:

  • Libraries
  • Schools
  • Sport
  • Training

Find out more about Ethiopia Reads

About our organization

Ethiopia Reads collaborates with communities to build schools, plant libraries, train educators, boost literacy, and provide youth and families with the tools to improve their lives. Discover our great team here!

Our projects

When you sign up for our quarterly newsletter you will get information on our new and ongoing projects, updates on staff, and profiles of students that have been impacted by the work we do at Ethiopia Reads. Find out about our work on the ground in this section!

Get Involved

Join in to support literacy, teach children the value of philanthropy, and enjoy some healthy competition! Join us in our efforts to help Ethiopian literacy today!

Building schools and libraries, putting books in the hands of children!


Since 1998, Ethiopia Reads has built five schools, planted 72 libraries, and now annually serves over 130,000 children. Our efforts go beyond just building schools and libraries.

In rural areas, our horse-powered literacy program reaches children with no access to schools. We support professional development year-round with workshops, discussion circles, mentoring, and program evaluation. And Team Tesfa works with children and young adults seeking to escape poverty through athletics as well as academics.


About education in Ethiopia


In Ethiopia, there is currently broad-based cooperation across multiple sectors. Ethiopia Reads was one of the original pioneers drawing attention to the issue of literacy, working with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, National Archives and Library of Ethiopia, embassies and cultural attaches in Addis Ababa, as well as international NGOs like Save the Children. This cross-sector coalition has promoted literacy through book fairs, public readings and other symposia. Ethiopia Reads continues to work with these partners and our staff members remain very publicly engaged, regularly participating in all of these events.

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    A big population

    With 97 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is Africa’s second largest country.

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    The weight of youth

    There are 43 million children ages 0-14 (44% of population).

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    Early education

    Only 5.5% of children attend kindergarten and pre-K.

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    Low school enrolment

    Primary school attendance (ages 7-12) is just 68%.

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    National literacy rate

    Adult literacy in Ethiopia is 49%.

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    Male national literacy rate

    The male literacy rate in Ethiopia is 57%.

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    Female national literacy rate

    The female literacy rate in Ethiopia is 41%.

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    Post-secondary education in Ethiopia

    7.5% of adults have any post-secondary education.

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