Maha enjoys reading books from the Camel Library, which brings books to children in Ethiopia who are out of school due to the pandemic.
Like 26 million other children in Ethiopia, Mahadiya (Maha) is out of school because of the coronavirus lockdown. Maha is worried about her family, who has lost income due to the pandemic, and she misses going to school, seeing her friends and receiving food there. The one bright spot in her day? Reading books brought to her by the Save the Children Camel Library.
In the Somali region of Ethiopia, camels are traditionally used to transport goods across the hot deserts, due to their strength and resilience. Through this program, 21 camels – which carry up to 200 books at a time – bring books to 33 villages, reaching over 22,000 children like Maha.
“Schools are closed,” Maha says. I’m worried that we could forget some of the things we learned and we could fail our exam.
“Each time the camel library comes to our village, I borrow up to three books that I read for myself and my brother and sisters. I learn many new things from reading the storybooks that the camel library brings. I wish the virus would just go away and I am able to continue my education. I won’t lose my hope of becoming an engineer.”