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One Year Later, the Trees as well as the Children Stretch to New Heights at the Segenat

Nearly two years ago the Mayor of the City of Mekelle approached Yohannes Gebregeorgis about the possibility of turning a vacated building into a children’s library.  Yohannes, Barbara Baker (who was visiting Mekelle for the dedication of the Dr. Thomas Hooyman Memorial Library in memory of her brother), three Peace Corps Volunteers (Shelley McCreery, Danielle Hoekwater, Nicholas Strnad) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and librarian Janet Lee, inspected the building and imagined the possibilities.

One grand thought was to line the pathway leading up to the entrance of the library with indigenous trees similar to the trees that one sees when entering the city from the airport.  Regis University Librarian (Denver, Colorado), Jan Loechell Turner, heeded the call and funded the project of both purchase of the trees and their ongoing maintenance.

One does not normally think of planting a tree, providing a bench, or painting a mural when donating funds to build a library.  A library should be more than a warehouse for books.  It can be a refuge from the daily routines of a busy day: a place to read, to play chess or checkers or Scrabble, to participate in arts and crafts, or to read a book quietly under the shade of a tree.

Thank you Jan for your gift that will last a lifetime.

The attached photos demonstrate the growth of this precious gift of trees over the past year.  Like children, trees grow by leaps and bounds with just a little loving care.  Many thanks to Fitsum Behane, IT volunteer instructor, for providing these updated photos.

These beautiful trees, donated by Regis University Librarian Jan Lochell Turner, are delivered to the Segenat, summer 2010.


The trees are lined up, spaced apart, and ready for planting.


Three boys in front of a tree, summer 2010.


Lula Gebresellasie, a library regular, stands in front of a tree, November 2010.


Two girls in front of a tree, September 2011. My how they have grown. Photo by Fitsum Berhane.


The Meskal flowers are in full bloom. Photo by Fitsum Berhane.


This tree has grown nearly three times its height. Photo by Fitsum Berhane.


Major donor opportunity for the Segenat Children and Youth Library

by Segenat Children and Youth Library on Monday, February 28, 2011 at 9:06am

A loyal and generous donor to the Segenat Children and Youth Library has offered to match all donations to the Segenat Library up to $2,000 received during the month of March.  For every $10, $20, or $100 contributed, the donor will match that exact amount up to a total of $2,000.

Please help us spread the word about this wonderful opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of children in Ethiopia.

Did you know that the average library assistant in Ethiopia makes approximately $35.00 U.S. per month?  That the Segenat Children and Youth Library averages between 200 and 300 students per day on weekdays and over 400 students on Saturday?  That 100% of your donation is sent to help the children of Ethiopia?

For more information please contact tigrayreads@yahoo.com

Send checks to:

Tigray Development Association

Library and Literacy Development Project

P.O. Box 73295

Washington, D.C. 20056-3295

A four year old in the reading nook.
A serious student.
Among the many clubs are the homework club and science club.