Hope Library: Now Open!!
A Community with Books
The Kelafo area of Ethiopia has a population of approximately 200,000 people and yet they had never had a single library. Imagine a community the size of Waterloo Region but with no easy access to books. But that all changed on August 1st, 2018 when Hope Library had it's Grand Opening!
E 4 Change has spent the last year and a half working to make Hope Library a reality. First we secured land in Kelafo and hired a local contractor who built the library using local staff and materials. Then we collected over a thousand books which were reviewed for appropriateness, stamped and entered into an inventory. These books were loaded into 3 crates and shipped to Kelafo this past June. Local books in the Somali language were also purchased in a nearby city (Jijiga) and shipped to Kelafo. This past of July, our teachers and several of our volunteers worked hard at organizing the library and hiring a local female librarian. And now our dream has become a reality.
Hope Library is a permanent library and it is central to many of the villages in the Kelafo area. Members of the community are now able to sign books out and take them home with their library membership. The library hosts a variety of reading materials, including children’s books, novels, magazines and curriculum resources in both English and Somali. The library is also going to run literacy programs for the locals and organize a variety of community programs.
Above: One of the stocked shelves at Hope Library.
One of the focuses for Education 4 Change is to teach early literacy skills and to provide students and community members with easy access to a variety of literacy resources. While reading students will not only practice their literacy skills, but they will also learn critical thinking skills. Students will be able to read about the world outside of their village and to learn, dream and think critically about the world around them. These students will become competitive at both the local and global level.
We are hoping to run many programs out of Hope Library such as a women's literacy group, story time for youngsters, peer tutoring as well as hosting visits from nearby schools.
Above: Meet our new teacher-librarian.
Our library is open now but there is still room for a lot more books. One way that you could help would be to donate books, computers or any educational resources. Cash donations are also a big help to cover the costs of shipping materials to Kelafo, Ethiopia, paying our teachers and librarian's monthly salaries and paying the monthly bills. Please consider making a donation to help us improve Hope Library and increase literacy in the Kelafo area.
A Wired World
Hope library does have access to electricity so we plan to incorporate access to computers and Internet in the future.