Braille books changing lives

12th January 2017 | Blog

At Book Aid International we believe in the power of books to inspire, educate and open doors, so we love seeing a well-stocked library being put to good use by readers of every age.

In our Book Provision Manager Stevie’s second blog about her trip to Ethiopia, she tells us about the inspiring work of the Finote Rehabilitation for Women with Disabilities Association (FRWDA) resource centre.

Housed in a shipping container, this centre is the first of its kind in Ethiopia. It is equipped with computers with text-to-speech software, several specially trained staff and a small library of books in both Braille and print. Most people who use the resource centre have visual impairment or other disabilities, but their families and carers also benefit from the books. The books available range from children’s stories to vocational and higher educational texts.


Reading Braille books


When I visited, the centre was crowded with a group of secondary school age girls. They all had visual impairment and were using the computers and reading from Braille books. I met 14-year-old Rosa Ibrahim who uses the centre to support her studies.

“I come here as often as possible to use the computers to write. I read the books in Braille. Sometimes the staff read to me from the books.”


Rosa and her friends


This resource centre is crucial for children and young people like Rosa.

“Most disabled people are excluded from social and economic opportunities,” Ms Baru, FRWDA’s Director tells us. In spite of these potential challenges, Rosa has big ambitions “I want to go to university and be a lawyer. But I don’t want just one degree. I also want to be a journalist and a social studies teacher.” With access to resources like these, Rosa and other women and girls with disabilities in Ethiopia are one step closer to achieving their ambitions.


Thanks to your support, Rosa has access to the books she needs to make the most of her education. If you’d like to find out more about our work in Ethiopia, click on the links below. To receive updates, sign up for our monthly newsletter below or follow @book_aid on twitter.

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Learn more about our work in Ethiopia.
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Read the first of Stevie's blogs about her trip to Ethiopia. Here she tells us about some special library celebrations she attended.
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We support all sorts of libraries from community and public libraries to those in schools, universities, prisons, hospitals, prisons and refugee camps.
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