Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Hero

Watch Yohannes Gebregeorgis, an Ehtiopian political refugee, came to the US as a librarian. He found there were no children's books in Ethiopia's main language. After writing one himself, he set up the nonprofit Ethiopia Reads and moved home to set up libraries and reading centers.

When the library allocated $1,200 for the purchase of Ethiopian books the following year, Gebregeorgis was unable to find any, because of prohibitive publishing, purchasing and importing costs in his home country.

So he wrote one. "Silly Mammo" was the first bilingual Amharic-English children's book, and it led Gebregeorgis to establish Ethiopia Reads in 1988. Using proceeds from book sales and grassroots book-a-thons, the nonprofit financed his efforts to bring children's libraries to Ethiopia.

In 2002, Gebregeorgis left his job and his home and returned to Ethiopia with 15,000 books donated by the San Francisco Children's Library. With them, he opened the Shola Children's Library on the first floor of his Addis Ababa home.

Or check out the CNN link HERE.

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