Ethiopia Reads is thrilled to be featured in the October issue of Good Housekeeping! The eight-page feature story, "Hope Volume I," was written by the wonderful Melissa Fay Greene,w ith photos by J Carrier. Look for your copy on newsstands now.
This spring, Melissa spent a few weeks in Addis Ababa and Awassa, getting to know Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Ethiopia Reads' co-founder and Executive Director. Melissa also spent lots of time with children at Shola Children's Library and the Awassa Reading Center, and saw first-hand the power of books in the lives of children.
As Melissa reports, books for children are a rarity in Ethiopia, as are so many educational resources and opportunities that Americans take for granted. Yet Ethiopian children -- like children everywhere -- love books and stories, as well as the sanctuary of a library. Literacy is the tool that will improve their lives and the lives of future generations of Ethiopians.
As Melissa writes:
"Literacy is now understood to be a threshold to greater productivity, better health, longer life and decreased maternal and neo-natal death rates....Children exposed to books will look beyond a lack of material goods to a world of possibilities."
"Books saved my life," Yohannes says, after sharing his story about how exposure to books as a teenager opened his mind to a reality he had not previously known.
Freelance photographer J Carrier visited Awassa and Addis Ababa in July, and his beautiful photographs are a stunning compliment to Melissa's story. The above photo shows what went on behind the scenes as he captured the procession of Queen Helina and the Donkey Mobile Library through a rural enclave on the outskirts of Awassa. Children came running from every direction, as did curious adults -- even goats, dogs and chickens!
Thanks to GOOD HOUSEKEEPING Magazine for publishing this article, and thanks to our friend Melissa Fay Greene for letting the world know about individuals and organizations working on behalf of children everywhere. Melissa is the author of the groundbreaking book There is No Me Without You, which introduced millions of readers to the plight of Ethiopian children orphaned by and living with HIV/AIDS.
Ethiopia Reads' mission is to create a reading culture in Ethiopia by connecting children with books. Our supporters include readers, writers, educators, librarians, children, grandparents -- anyone who shares our belief that books do make a difference in the lives of children. We're delighted that you found us!