We are thrilled that our first community development project, the Shanto Community Library and Learning Center, is fully funded and completed!
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
A few years ago, SHAPEthiopia‘s director, Desalegn Daka, came to us with his dream of building a library in his hometown of Shanto. Shanto is the administrative center of Damot Pulasa Woreda. It is a very rural district which consists of 23 villages, 140,000 people, and prior to this project had no library. It was Desalegn’s vision to build a large community library that would not only provide books and increase literacy, but would also provide a safe, well-lit space for children and other community members to meet and study. Partners With Ethiopia funded the project. Our partner, SHAPEthiopia, implemented the project. They worked directly with the local government to obtain the land. The building was constructed by a local Ethiopian construction company. All furniture was sourced locally.
The Shanto Community Library & Learning Center was built in four phases.
Phase I consisted of the excavation and foundation work. Here’s a short video of the construction of Phase I. This video was filmed by our Executive Director, Ingrid Olson, during her April 2017 trip to Ethiopia.
Since this building was built by a local Ethiopian construction company, they employed many local people during the construction process.
Phase II of the project involved the block work and roof work.
Phase III consisted of metal work, pointing and plastering, and electrical work. Here’s a short video of the end of Phase III. This video was filmed by our Executive Director, Ingrid Olson, during her March 2018 trip to Ethiopia.
Phase IV consisted of the interior furnishings and books. 50% of Phase IV was directly implemented by our partner SHAPEthiopia. The remaining 50% of Phase IV involved the partnership of Ethiopia Reads and Books for Africa. Ethiopia Reads provided bookshelves, 2,000 books, and facilitated library training. Books for Africa donated 22,000 books and arranged transportation.
The following photos were taken in August 2018. We were thrilled to see the library in use!
On September 22, 2018 over 400 community leaders, government officials, and our local NGO partner, SHAPEthiopia, gathered at the library for an inauguration and ribbon cutting ceremony. It was a joyful event!
In December 2018 the shipping container of 22,000 books from Books For Africa arrived in Shanto.
In March 2019 our Executive Director, Ingrid Olson, visited the finished library. She gave a tour and a heartfelt thank you to donors in her video.
SHAPEthiopia will be staffing and monitoring the library in the years to come. Daily statistics are being kept on the library’s usage. We are excited to see the long-term impact that this library will have on the thousands of students in the Shanto community.
We do have three additional add-on projects. First, the library compound needs a fence and gate. Second, we would like to add exterior latrines with water access. Finally, the library still needs electricity. If you have interest in donating to or fundraising for these final three aspects of this overall library project, please email Ingrid@partnerswithethiopia.org.
Thank you so much to all our generous donors for making this library dream become a reality.
It is Partners With Ethiopia’s deep desire to fund more library and book projects in Ethiopia. If you have an interested in funding a project or taking on fundraising for a project, please contact our Executive Director, Ingrid Olson, at Ingrid@partnerswithethiopia.org.
Since the library opened in 2018 we have visited annually. We have heard from the local leadership how much the library has impacted the students and community. We are so thankful to everyone who made this library dream a reality. The photos below are from July 2022. This summer the library is hosting a local reading program while school is out of session. They also divided the library into two sections. They now have a dedicated children’s section.