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The joy of having a library

The Ethiopian-German Association “Let me be a child” was started in 2004. Its objectives are to alleviate the economic, psychosocial and educational problems of disadvantaged children, most of whom are orphans or are coming from very poor families. The Association started with taking care of 15 children. Soon this number had increased and with the financial help of individuals in Germany, the Association bought a house called “The Island”, a day care centre where 45 children are being supported at the moment. In order not to lose contact with their families or communities, the children live with relatives or kind friends of their families. In various ways, the association supports children in their education. Here they tell us about their library.

In 2007, we had the idea of starting a library in our Association “Let me be a child” in Addis Abeba. We bought some school books to help support the children in their schooling. Many people were kind enough to donate us their own books.

In 2008, Nasrin S. started working with us. Nasrin is a German author of kid's books and she comes in once a week to read different TAPORI¹ stories with our children. She always makes photocopies so each of them can have their own individual copy . These books gave our children the idea to write their own Tapori story which is called 'Tariku'. Nasrin told us about a street-library she had worked with in Madagascar and we got the idea to do something similar. Slowly the idea grew to starting up a small library. With a supporting contribution from “Help for Africa”, a German NGO, we bought a shelf and other necessary materials. Our shelf was quickly filled up with donated books.

Whilst we were in the process of building up our library, two members of our staff, two children and Nasrin, visited the Goethe Institute, where we were given advice in how to prepare the books, so that the children would be able to start borrowing them.

We are very pleased that we now have a library! Hanna and Teresa are running the library. This is a wonderful opportunity for our children because they can now learn for free and get help and support if they need it. We are happy that they now have the possibility to borrow books and read stories whenever they want. They really love books! It's great to know that we have so many friends around the world who help us so that we can help the children. Thank you for being our friend!

Hanna and Teresa, “Let me be a child”, Ethiopia