Since 1998, Ethiopia Reads has built five schools, planted 72 libraries, and now annually serves over 130,000 children. Ethiopia Reads was one of the original pioneers drawing attention to the issue of literacy, working with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, National Archives and Library of Ethiopia, embassies and cultural attaches in Addis Ababa, as well as international NGOs like Save the Children. This cross-sector coalition has promoted literacy through book fairs, public readings and other symposia.


In rural areas, where there are no roads, Ethiopia Reads deploys a teacher on a horse to reach children who have never held a book; a horse-powered literacy program able to reach children with no access to schools. Librarians on horseback find themselves surrounded by children, parents, and elders listening to the stories and instruction. They also support professional development year-round with workshops, discussion circles, mentoring, and program evaluation.


Jane Kurtz (one of the main founders)  grew up in Ethiopia as a child with a love of reading that became her profession. In addition to Ethiopia Reads she is an internationally acclaimed author of children and young adult books, many of them drawn from her personal experiences growing up in rural Ethiopia. Today Jane continues to be an important and invaluable supporter and advisor of Ethiopia Reads. Jane is also the driving force and creative director behind the Ready Set Go Books – working to create books that inspire young children who are just learning to read.

The Ethiopia Reads organization believes strongly that providing books, libraries, and trained librarians that engage students’ minds will lead to a more resourceful generation of leaders in Ethiopia. Ethiopia Reads sponsors reading and book events such as Family Literacy days that attract families and community members.


Ethiopia Reads has impacted over one million children throughout the Ethiopia. The statistics speak for themselves:

80 public school and mobile horse powered libraries serving 100,000 children annually

150 librarians trained

100,000 Donated and distributed English and Local Language books reaching over

120 schools in every region of the country

The Mayors office recently unveiled plans for the city administration to build “Addis Abeba City Library” which will be located in 4 kilo hosting up to 3,500 people at a time and reaching 10,000 people per day.  Ethiopia Reads and Whiz Kids were mentioned as good public organizations with initiatives encompassing children’s libraries.

Yemisrach Worku is the Ethiopia Reads Country Director

Phone number for office: +251 11 126 0333


Kebena towards Aware area

Ethiopia Reads office and Gebeta Library (same place) is down the unpaved street going from the left back side of gas station (as you face it) around 5 mins walk on left. Call to make an appointment and for directions: