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Donkey Library Project in Partnership with Altrusa International of Corvallis: International Relations Committee

Project Description: Donkey Library Project

What is a “Donkey Library”? 

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.

Why are they important?

“The donkey library continues to be a vital resource for the majority of elementary schools who do not have access to a school library. In Ethiopia’s 2023 review of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, they clearly noted that the lack of access to books is a major factor in children failing to acquire basic literacy, and their education therefore stopping at an early age. The donkey library currently fills this gap for many schools, and it is important that the books are maintained to be current, relevant and of genuine interest for the children to develop a love and passion for reading.” Caroline Walker, Chief Executive, Together We Learn-Ethiopia*

{*Our work in our sister city of Gondar could not occur without our close partnership with Together We Learn-Ethiopia (TWL).  Click here for more details about TWL.}


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%

Project Statistics:

(Example of one of the donkey library projects in our sister city of Gondar, Ethiopia, coordinated by us and funded by Altrusa International of Corvallis)

Number of Schools Participating: 5 rural schools and the Donkey Library librarian.

Number of participants: 17 educators (teachers, school directors and donkey librarian)

Amount of OHBD books donated: 300 books

Books Funded by Altrusa International of Corvallis: International Relations Committee

Training funded by Corvallis Sister Cities Association – Gondar


Name of Elementary schools Type Female Male Total
Telefet Rural 687 565 1252
Fenja Rural 548 472 1020
Sufankara Rural 789 664 1453
Atikilt Rural 237 230 467
Geba Denboske Rural 36 34 70

Much appreciation for the financial support by Altrusa International of Corvallis in providing funds for the books in this project.

Help us send more books to Gondar!