Reading books with the help of camels

You’re ensuring children’s education continues, even during lockdown.

Mahadiya is a bright, 13-year-old girl who lives in rural Ethiopia. She loves going to school, and her dream is to become an engineer. But her school has shut due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Mahadiya longs to play with her schoolfriends again and she wishes she could be back in the classroom. She worries she’ll forget what she’s learned and will fail her exams. Like many children, she doesn’t know when the lockdown will end in her country.

But you’re making sure Mahadiya’s reading and learning haven’t stopped. You’re bringing her books with the help of some camels.

The camel library travels across the vast Ethiopian countryside to reach children in remote villages. The camels have boxes strapped to their backs that can carry up to 200 books! The library stays for two and a half days at each village while the camels and librarians have a rest. The children also have time to pick their favourite books and even go back for more!

The libraries provide more than books. There are informal classes to help improve the children’s reading and writing skills too! Even when schools are shut, you’re there to give children like Mahadiya access to learning materials. Her education is continuing because of you.

Mahadiya is staying focused. My advice to all the people, including children, in the lockdown is not to be sad, to stay at home and to be patient until the situation improves.” She’s not giving up on her dream of becoming an engineer – a dream you’re helping to bring to life.

* Name changed to protect identity