The Africa Educational Trust (AET) was founded in 1958 and now works in conflict afflicted areas of sub-Saharan Africa, where people have some of the lowest levels of education in the world and few resources for learning. The focus of AET’s work is development of education and training programmes, especially for children and young women, former soldiers, displaced internal refugees, disabled people, and nomadic herders. Book Aid International are working with AET in Somalia and South Sudan to support the development of libraries.
In Somalia AET responded quickly to the crisis in the education system caused by civil conflict. The first thirteen AET libraries were opened in primary schools in 2002, with libraries in secondary schools following shortly after. Book Aid International provides AET with brand new books from the UK, as well as grants to purchase local language material. Somali girls are often shy of sitting with boys and dedicated ‘girl only’ reading sessions have been devised to increase numbers of female users.
In South Sudan we support four AET Resource and Open Learning Centres (ROLE centres), which are in Rumbek, Juba, Yambio and Panyagor, and a mobile library scheme which visits schools in each area. AET provide regular reports on the books we provide. Yambio ROLE Centre, for example, reported that they had distributed books to schools, improved the community library, revitalized the mobile library and trained head teachers and school librarians on school library management.
You can find out more about the work of AET on their website: http://www.africaeducationaltrust.org