WOW! 4-legged camel libraries go solar! We had to share this amazing story about the incredible work the Save the Children team do. ” In the Somali region of Ethiopia, Mahadiya, 14, spots something she has never seen before. She was expecting a crucial delivery of books to her remote community. What she saw was the peculiar sight of a solar powered camel. Over the last 20 years the Somali Region in Ethiopia has made significant improvements in its education system, leading to increased rates of primary school enrolments. However, the school system remains under resourced, with a severe shortage of teachers and books. The Camel Library initiative was born out of this need. Ethiopia’s camel library initiative has undergone a digital revolution initiative and is turning camels into digital oases”
Save the Children has been helping rural Ethiopian villages access books through camels since 2010. Now, over a decade later, the 4-legged libraries are getting a digital makeover. In September 2021 a pilot program was launched to revolutionise the Camel Library initiative. Instead of carrying up to 200 paper books, the camels have been fitted with solar panels to charge portable tablets which are loaded up with story books and learning materials.
Mahadiya has been given a tablet from one of Save the Children’s Digital Camel Libraries. This allows her to access countless stories, including her own, Mahadiya and the Camel. Have a look at this video of incredible work of these solar powered Camel Libraries.
After the success of this pilot program, all Camel Libraries are in the process of becoming Digital Camel Libraries. This will help expand the selection of learning material for over 22,000 children across 33 villages that have been receiving books from the Camel Libraries since 2010.
The goal of this initiative is not just to provide children with books, but to ensure they have access to stories in their own culture and language, reflecting their reality and promoting a love of reading. Through incredible contributions from Save the Children’s Library For All, children in remote communities of the Somali Region can now access a wider selection of stories loaded onto the solar powered tablets.
The Camel Library is made possible through the tireless work of community volunteers like Hassen, who are trained by Save the Children as reading camp facilitators to help children learn to read. Hassen brings the library to Mahadiya and other children like her across Ethiopia who have had restricted access to school and educational materials throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
” In the past, the camel library used to come to our village once a week, but now since the Coronavirus pandemic, it has started to come every three or four days. We feel happy when the camel library comes to our village because we can get storybooks. ”
Check out this amazing picture of a camel strapped with frames to hold solar panels for the Camel Library
Check out the amzing work of Save the Children https://www.savethechildren.org.au/our-stories/ethiopias-four-legged-libraries-go-solar
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