School Books:

Dir Biyabir has a strong focus on providing access to books for school children to encourage learning and a love for reading. Most schools in Ethiopia suffer from a severe lack of books and we have repeatedly seen the excitement in children when they are simply given a book.  Dir Biyabir sponsors book projects in several regions in Ethiopia.  Each project is funded based on a written proposal that includes a list of books requested by the school, all books are purchased locally in Ethiopia.


1. Edja Wereda, Gurage Zone

Dir Biyabir funded the purchase of school books for several schools in Edja Wereda in the Gurage zone.  This project is being implemented in several phases via our partnership with the non-profit Journey to Light.  Journey to Light has been active in this community for many years and has been working to improve access to education and healthcare.

1.a) Phase 1: Yedege Elementary School

In May 2014, Dir Biyabir funded the request to purchase 359 books for Yedege Elementary in Edja Wereda. The school was founded in 1974  and in 1997 it was expanded to include grades 7 and 8. In 2014 the school had a total student enrollment of 1,731 with 46% girls.  This was the first school to be built in the Edja Wereda in what is now known as Gurage zone, and was intended to serve about 10 farmers Associations, with each association consisting of about 1500 farmers. 
 Shelving New Books at Yedege  Reading New Books in Yedege Library
The school already had a library and these books added to their limited collection. Due to the shortages of books, students can only check books out for 3 days at a time. In addition reference books will be readily available for use in the library during hours of operation. Books were purchased in a range of topics including Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math, Amharic, and English.

1.b) Phase 2: Anano, Bojebar & Negoder Elementary Schools

In January 2015 Dir Biyabir funded the purchase of school books for 3 Elementary schools : Anano, Bojebar, and Negoder Elementary Schools.  All three schools are located in Edja Woreda in the Gurage Zone.  Anano was established in 2002 and has a total enrollment of 1,225, with 50.53% being girls. Bojebar was established in 1991 and has a total enrollment of 1,198, with 47.6% being girls. Negoder was established in1996 and has a total enrollment of 476, with 52.5% being girls (all enrollment numbers are from 2014). Books purchased in phase two include 362 books for Anano, 370 books for Bojebar, and 207 books for Negoder. A total of 939 books were purchased in phase two.

Shelving New Books at Anano

Receiving Books at Bojebar

Books were purchased in a wide range of subjects including Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Amharic, and English. Each school has aside a room with shelves for the purchased books.  To maximze access to these books by all students, the books will be kept in these libraries and students can access them in the library Monday to Thursday.  Students are allowed to check out books on Fridays for the weekend and return them back on the following Monday.


2. Worku Jenber High School, Gela Matebia, Southern Gonder

Worku Jenber High School is located in a district commonly known as Gela Matebia in Ibnat Woreda, Southern Gonder. The school was built in 2010 by Dr. Adugnaw Worku who was himself a farmer’s son from that area. As a boy he struggled hard to get access to education. Having overcome many challenges and fulfilled his personal goals, Dr. Adugnaw gave back to his community by building this school. There are 27 villages in that general area that benefit from this school. Some of the students live close to the school, but others commute long distances. The school has grades 9, 10, and 11, and there are plans to add grade 12.  Total enrollment as of 2014 is 420 students of which 47% are girls.  The school had a library with limited books but as of the completion of our project it is now fully stocked. The library is open all day every day school is in session, and students are encouraged to use the library. Loan periods during the day are in two hour intervals, but students can check books out for overnight use. Lost or damaged books have to be paid for by the borrower.
9th & 10th Grade Students  Handing over books at Worku Jenber High School Shelving new books at Worku Jenber High School Library


Dir Biyabir funded two phases of book purchases for this school. Phase 1 in December 2013, and Phase 2  in March 2014.  The project was implemented in partnership with Dr. Adugnaw and his local volunteers in Gonder. Over the two phases, a total of 991 books were purchased across a range of subjects including Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math, Geography, Amharic, and English.


3. Grace for All Center for Homeless Kids, Addis Abeba

Grace for All (GFA) is an Atlanta-based NGO founded in 1992 by an Ethiopian, and supports homeless kids by providing them meals, paying for their education, supplying them with school materials including uniforms, and giving them a secure and nurturing environment. As of 2014 it supports more that 164 children (about half of whom are girls), mostly in Addis Abeba, but it also helps individual children with disabilities in rural areas. The GFA center in Addis is a place where kids come for their daily meals, and it is the only place where they can study and do their homework.

Selecting GFA Books at Bookstore  Reading in New GFA Library   Making tables for GFA Library


GFA was in desperate need of a library to foster an environment that encourages learning and a love for reading, as well as to provide supplemental material for schoolwork, however they did not have the means to set one up. In August 2014, Dir Biyabir provided funding for the purchase of 304 books (Amharic, English, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and children’s story books) as well as 50% of the cost of purchasing materials to construct 10 tables and 19 benches for the library. The GFA staff as well as the older kids under the guidance of the founder, constructed all the furniture and completed the library in time for the new school year. The children have been enjoying a functional library since.


4. School for Humanity, Shashemene

In 2010 Dir Biyabir initiated a new project to provide books for the library of the “School for Humanity” in Shashemene.  Dir Biyabir was introduced to this school by the group “Ethio Village” based in San Jose, California.  This is a well established and well run school initially funded by two non-profits: “School for Humanity” (US) and “Hope and a Future” (Ireland). As of our engagement in 2010 the school was funded entirely by the Irish group. 

The school serves 278 students between the ages of 8-13 in grades 1-4.  EthioVillage introduced the Dir Biyabir team to the school and facilitated direct communication with the school principal. The principal submitted a detailed project proposal to expand the very limited school library by purchasing some much-needed books. This project met Dir Biyabir's goal of funding small and well thought-out projects in various egions of Ethiopia, while also providing a great opportunity to provide books to school children. In July 2010 a grant of $1,000 USD was provided to the school for the purchase of books for the library. 

New Books at School for Humanity


The school staff purchased books in Addis Abeba and transported them to Shashemene. They showed their commitment by using the funds allocated for their logistics expense to purchase a book shelf.  In addition the school principal committed to extend library hours and ensure easy access to the books by students. In October 2010 the Dir Biyabir Secretary visited the school and was warmly welcomed and was proudly shown the new books in the library.  Our secretary also visited a very small school nearby which gets no funding.  She provided exercise books, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpener, and ruler for each child in the neighboring school.  The children were very pleased. 


5. Northern Shewa

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). Read more