Books for Africa is a St. Paul, Minnesota based nonprofit organization which is dedicated to collecting, shipping and distributing books to children and adults in Africa, as it did for Nedjo Public Library in Oromia recently

By By Kellen Kebaara (Insight News) |

Oromia Region, Ethiopia―On any given evening during the school term you will find the Nedjo Public Library in Oromia, Ethiopia, bursting with users, many times filled to its capacity of 300 and often handling up to 70 other users with no place to sit.

The fact that the library is open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week does not seem to help with the congestion.

Most visitors are regulars such as the teachers from neighboring schools for whom the reference resources and Internet services are a treasured goldmine, or pupils like Said Kadir and Gadiyon Metwos, who find the library an excellent location for studying.

Said is in grade 12 reading natural science. Coming to the library daily has helped him develop good reading habits and improved his grades. It gives him the chance to exchange ideas with his counterparts and prevents time wasting.

“Here, there are no distractions from my family, which is a good thing if you are preparing for exams,” said Said. “And besides, my relationship with my mother is at its best; she knows where I am all the time.”

Gadiyon, who is in grade 10, says physics is his best subject. Coming to the library every day is something he knows he has to do if his dream of becoming a pilot after college is to come true.

“I am learning to focus and to manage my time, and I cannot afford the time to hang out with friends,” said Gadiyon. He also likes the reference books, which are not available at his home.

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