New RPCV Legacy Program project: “ETHIOPIA READS IN SNNPR”
An extension of support begun in 2008 by E&E RPCVs
by Nancy Horn (Addis Ababa 66–68, VII Utah)
The non-profit organization Ethiopia Reads (ER) has promoted literacy, a reading culture and best practices in reading instruction in Ethiopia since 2003. Over the years, ER has founded over 60 libraries in every region of the country, founded five school programs, and led dozens of trainings among hundreds of library and school professionals in Ethiopia.
E&E RPCVS has supported through its RPCV Legacy Program the establishment and development of ER’s Awassa Reading Center (ARC) in the regional capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) with the project “Ethiopia Reads in Awassa” championed by Lois Shoemaker. With a new project — “Ethiopia Reads in SNNPR” — that I am championing, the scope of activities of the initial ER Legacy Program project will be expanded.
ER has had a strong presence in SNNPR since 2006, founding to date more than a dozen community libraries and three school libraries in that region, while also piloting several forms of rural outreach. Early experiments in encouraging literacy included the Donkey Mobile Libraries. More recently these have been redesigned as the Horse-Powered Literacy (HPL) program that reaches deep into rural kebeles. The Awassa Reading Center is comprised of a children’s community library serving hundreds of children in the city, and is the central locus for ER literacy programming and training for the region. This expansion project, Ethiopia Reads in SNNPR, seeks to enlarge the Center’s activities at a cost of $9,800, implementing the following three strategies over the next year:
- Collection Expansion / Improvement – The wear and tear, particularly on reference books and local-language story books originally deposited in 2006, have given rise to a need for their replacement. An Atlanta-based NGO is currently collecting these types of books for ARC, but suplemental funding for shipping is needed. The cost is estimated to be $2,000.
. . . Additionally, the general collection needs to be expanded to include picture books and early-grade story books both locally and from the US to bring more very young readers into the ARC. The cost is estimated to be $2,000.
- Southern Schools Officer (SSO) – In November, ER hired a program manager based in the Awassa ARC to oversee and expand ER’s regional outreach. For this new staff member to be effective, computer equipment and office furniture is needed, as well as one year’s portion of the SSO’s salary. The cost of these inputs has been estimated at $3,500.
- Outreach – Presently the Center serves children in the community as a library and study hall. ER would like to expand the use of the library to include adding reading circles, activities for the youngest children, mothers’ reading circles and family literacy classes; partnering with local schools and NGOs in activities; and offering mobile activities staged in schools and kebele youth centers. Costs involved in this expansion are estimated at $2,300.
The project will run for one year (December 2014 to December 2015) with reporting on progress and on use of funds will take place after mid-term (July 2015) and at the end of the project (January 2016), and I shall share reports after submission.
E&ERPCVs SEEKS YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE ETHIOPIA READS LEGACY PROJECT
All contributions should be sent to: E&ERPCVs, c/o Beil, 492 Staten Avenue, Apt. 1003, Oakland, CA 94610-4908. Contributions can also be made through: PayPal by going to https://eandeherald.com/rpcv-legacy-program and then clicking on PayPal for the “Ethiopia Reads in SNNPR” project. Contributions to E&ERPCV Legacy Projects are all tax-deductible in the US.
PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TODAY!