The camel library initiative undergoes a digital revolution
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.
Save the Children and Library for All* have been helping rural Ethiopian villages access books through camels since 2010. Now, over a decade later, the four-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 carry a Library For All Spark Kit filled with tablet computers pre-loaded with hundreds of children’s books ready to read. The tablets are charged by the sun via specially fitted solar panels. Everything is packed together on a camel-friendly harness uniquely developed for this project – showing there is no barrier to providing a quality education for children.
Through the tablets from one of Library for All’s Digital Camel Libraries, Mahadiya can access countless stories, including her own, Mahadiya and the Camel.
“These days, I have become accustomed to reading books. For me, reading a book is the key to knowledge. I felt great joy and pride, when I was told that my and the camel library’s story was chosen to prepare a children’s book.”
Have a look at the incredible work of these solar powered Camel Libraries.