Northern Shewa Books:

Dir Biyabir has been involved with several village schools in Northern Shewa, specifically in the Bassona Worana Wereda.  We have funded the purchase of books for Workegur Elementary (which we also contributed to building), Goshebado School, and a small satellite school in Moy Meda (where we also funded expansion of classroom facilities)


1. Workegur Elementary School

Workegur Elementary is the first modern school in the village of Workegur.  In 2010 it enrolled 205 students in grades 1 to 4. In October of 2010 Dir Biyabir provided a modest grant of $300 for the purchase of school books for the Workegur Elementary School.  Our local partner ADHENO was able to buy an assortment of books including Amharic, English and Math books with this funding, and the books were directly handed to the Workegur school by ADHENO and the Dir Biyabir Secretary who was visiting at the time.  In addition exercise books were purchased and handed to each of the 205 students. The school had no library, so the staff committed to convert a storage room to a library, and to place the books on a shelf previously donated by Dir Biyabir.  The teachers have recommended that books not be lent out to the children due to lack of a check-out process, and that the children should read in the library.  Dir Biyabir has asked local ADHENO program managers to monitor to ensure children are given sufficient access to the books.  Based on the success of this pilot, Dir Biyabir plans to expand this little library.

Workegur Elementary Books Funded by Dir Biyabir Kids in Their Classroom


It should be noted that in 2008 Dir Biyabir had provided a grant of $500 for the purchase of 959 text books requested by the school. Though all the books requested were purchased, they were not distributed to the students due to bureaucratic complications with the local administration. Funds to purchase the books had to be provided to the regional education office as the official text books for the Northern Shewa region can not be purchased in Addis Abeba. However once the books were purchased, the regional education office stored them in their warehouse and ADHENO was unable to get these books released to the students.
After trying unsuccessfully for over one year to recover and distribute the text books that were purchased in 2008, it appeared unlikely that the books would be released for use at Workegur Elementary, and efforts to retrieve them have had to be abandoned. Dir Biyabir has notified the four members who together contributed over 85% of the funds used for the purchase of these books. This has been an extremely frustrating and disappointing experience, but serves as a critical lesson learned that no funds should be placed at the disposal of organizations that are not Dir Biyabir approved. Despite this set-back, Dir Biyabir will continue to try to meet the dire need for books for school children in Ethiopia, but will ensure that books are purchased and placed directly in the hands of school-children with no third party intermediary. Since this approach does not seem to be possible with textbooks, Dir Biyabir will sponsor the purchase and distribution of other books that are available in private bookstores.


2. Goshebado School

The Goshebado school has grades 5 to 8 and this is where students who finish grade 4 at Workegur Elementary transfer to. However this school too suffered from a severe lack of books.  In 2011 Dir Biyabir received a proposal from the school listing 274 reference books needed by the students in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Amharic, English, and Math. Dir Biyabir provided a grant of $813 to purchase all requested books which our local partner ADHENO then purchased and handed over to the school principal Ato Desta in a ceremony.  

ADHENO Handing Over New Books Students Reading New Books


Ato Desta thanked both Dir Biyabir and ADHENO and students are now encouraged to read in the school library or borrow the books for a maximum of 1 week. We are gratified to see the students so engrossed in reading these books and we thank our members for making this possible.


3. Moy Elemetary School

Moy Elementary School (“Moy Yemejemerya Dereja Timihirt Bet”), enrolled 463 children in 2011 of which 46% are girls. There is one main school and 2 smaller satellite schools. Schools in this area are severely underfunded with an average annual budget of 12,000 ETB ($705 USD) excluding teacher salary.  This comes to an alarming average of $1.52 per student per year!   In 2011 the school requested 149 books which were funded by Dir Biyabir and purchased by ADHENO in Addis Abeba and Debre Berhan.  A total of 149 books were handed over to the school along with a bookshelf.  Due to lack of availability some book substitutions had to be made.  


Adheno signed a memorandum of understanding with the school to ensure that the children were given full access to these books.  After having seen first hand the complete lack of books in this school, we are gratified to see images of books in the hands of these very eager young students.