A number of universities have recently opened in Ethiopia to tackle the shortage of trained manpower in the country, but there is one crucial thing missing from the new facilities: books.
This problem came to the attention of a group of Ethiopian and Danish university students, who decided to collect second-hand books suitable for university study, to donate to the under-resourced institutions in Ethiopia.
The initiative, run by a group of volunteers in Denmark, complements efforts made by the Ethiopian government to meet student demand for educational materials.
One of the volunteers, Anne Sophie Vinther Hansen, is involved in the project because she believes education is a valuable commodity. “Knowledge is the most important gift you can give,” she said. “By providing knowledge, you can assist in empowering people, giving them the possibility to create the life they most desire.”
Similarly, volunteer Gebeyehu Manie said donating a book was “probably the most profitable investment”.
Fikadu Reta said he thought the donation programme was worthwhile because he had seen the shortage of materials in Ethiopia first hand. “I studied and worked in one of our universities in Ethiopia,” he said. “I know the problem of a shortage of books from experience. Thus, sending books is the best way I can help our students back home during my stay in Denmark.”
Anyone who wishes to donate their used books can take them to the Faculty of Life Sciences Library at the University of Copenhagen, at Dyrlægevej 10 in Frederiksberg. The volunteers also plan to set up collection boxes at all the libraries affiliated to the University of Copenhagen. Alternatively, people wishing to donate can call Anne Sophie on 3114 8286 or Fikadu on 7169 0157 or send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a collection.