Since gaining independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has faced conflict with neighbouring countries and a series of major droughts. The perceived military threat from Ethiopia has led to compulsory and indefinite military service for all males, which has caused many hundreds of thousands of Eritreans to flee to other African countries or to Europe.
Enrolment in education is low (less than 37% of the school age population in primary school and less than 29% in secondary) while class sizes are large and there are few resources in most schools.
Book ownership is a luxury in a country where 80% of the population is living at subsistence level; libraries therefore provide vital access to information, learning, and development, and offer a window to a wider world. The books that we supply are often the only new books being added to library collections in communities, schools and higher education institutions.
Our work in Eritrea
In Eritrea we partner with two organisations who deliver our books to a range of libraries. The Ministry of Education supports the country’s 343 school libraries via the six regional education offices, as well as supplying prison and college libraries.
The Library and Information Association of Eritrea (LIAE) provides books to the community libraries, including those set up and run by National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students, as well as to hospitals, prisons and kindergartens.
*UN Human Development Index, 2014
** World Bank