Donkey Library

Our Donkey Library project works with schools in rural areas that do not have their own school libraries. Many children in Ethiopia only have access to books through their school: in the Amhara region only one child in five has books at home beyond their school textbooks.

84% of the population of Ethiopia live in rural areas but only 16% of Ethiopia’s schools are in these communities

The adult literacy rate in Ethiopia is only 52%

Our donkey libraries are donkeys that have been equipped with harnesses to transport books to form a mobile library. Each donkey, and their library, is cared for and managed by a trained donkey librarian. The donkey libraries travel to isolated schools where they lend books to children to support their learning and to teachers to enhance their lessons. The donkey librarians support children with their reading by holding group story reading sessions during their school visits.

“Having the Donkey Library in our school is so important. It gives me a chance to read books and learn more from the books I am reading.”

Kalkidan, 12 years old, Sirba Village School

Access to reading materials, and time to read, not only enhances children’s wellbeing, but also improves their reading and comprehension skills in a practical and enjoyable way, further encouraging them in their education.

Through the Donkey Library project – and with the help of the donkey librarian – children can select fiction or subject-specific books (both in local languages and English) and take part in reading sessions.

The librarians make scheduled visits to different schools in the villages, visiting 3-5 schools per week. In one week, a donkey library can reach up to 600 students to give them access to books. Over 12 months, our three donkey libraries reach over 7,000 students.

“The Donkey Library has benefitted not only the children, but also the rural school teachers who sometimes borrow books from the Donkey Library and use it inside the classroom to teach their children.”

Mr. Ashenafi, a teacher at Sirba Village School

Going forward, we would like to purchase more books so that the librarian is able to rotate the books on offer and provide the children with a greater variety of books to read.

We would also like to respond to the increasing interest we see from teachers and offer more books to support their teaching.

Can you help?

  • £2 will buy a good quality book
  • £15 buys a set of subject reference books
  • £70 equips a libarian and their donkey for a year
Together We Learn - Ethiopia