A donkey library is giving children growing up in some of the most remote rural villages of Ethiopia the life-changing opportunity of learning to read.
Librarian Birtukan, aged 21, leads a donkey laden with books between seven villages in the Amhara region.
It takes Birtukan up to three hours on foot to walk between villages.
She delivers the books to the children and helps them read under the shade of trees in each village.
An estimated 250 million primary school children cannot read, write or count. That’s a third of the world’s children between five and 13.
Save The Children supports some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised countries to help children get access to education. Without the opportunity to learn, many children remain trapped in a life of poverty and hardship.
Learning to read, write and count can transform lives, like Tilanesh’s.
The 10-year-old learned to read with the help of a donkey library, which came to her village in Feres Megria in Ethiopia.
Save the Children began the first donkey library in 2011.
Donkeys, which are traditionally used by communities in Ethiopia to transport bulky goods, can carry up to 400 books at a time in canvas bags.
The first phase of the project reached 2,400 children in 14 villages.
The library runs in addition to the basic schooling some children receive.
Because the pilot programme was so well received by the Government, communities and children, Save The Children now runs four donkey libraries in Ethiopia.
Save the Children is working with the Ethiopian Government to improve basic education for children in its poorest and most remote areas in the Amhara region. We’ve trained 1400 teachers and built and equipped 120 schools and 29 early childhood centres.
I myself am educated and I want children to be educated like me as they will be able to support their families and their community.Birtukan