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Old books get new life in Ethiopia

Funding is needed for the shipment of university books to new Ethiopian schools

A group of volunteers are working to collect used textbooks from students and libraries at the university for new universities in Ethiopia. A new round of textbooks are waiting to be sent for the new semester, but more funding is still needed.

”We have about 250 books, which are badly needed at these universities – but, it is all about finding the right coordination and resources.” says Fikadu Reta Alemayehu, a former Faculty of Life Sciences graduate and a teacher at one of the universities. ”We estimate these books at around 400 kilos, which can be very expensive to send, around DKK 8,000. Myself and a friend are covering some of these costs, but we are not sure how far we can go.”

This initiative began in 2012, when the University of Copenhagen announced the burning of books that the Humanities library no longer had space for. The first shipment of books were successfully sent to Hawassa University in South Ethiopia last year, as we previously reported. This next round of donations is larger, and thus requires more coordination, and resources.

Students – donate your old textbooks

The faculty of Life Sciences has recently installed a donation box near the library’s entrance, and students can deposit used and unwanted textbooks. These books will be given a new life, and used to enhance the academic experience for Ethiopian students.

”The books we usually send are health and natural science books. We also often take books in subjects such as mathematics, chemistry, and physics,” says Fikadu. ”The books must be in English, and should be academic texts.”

Since sending these books is expensive, they must filter through the books, and only send those that are most relevant to students’ academic needs. The organization welcomes any support and assistance in their ambitious project, and can be contacted through the information in the fact box on the top right.

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