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Yohannes Gebregeorgis to Speak at the Dr. Martin Luther King Library in New Orleans

Yohannes Gebregeorgis will read and sign his book “Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda: An Ethiopian Girl’s Festival” at the Martin Luther King Branch of the New Orleans Public Library on Friday, June 24th at 10:00 am.

The event is in conjunction with Yohannes receving the award of Honorary Membership to the American Library Association later that same day.  Honorary Membership is the highest award bestowed upon an individual by the American Library Association.

Please join Yohannes at:

Martin Luther King Library

New Orleans Public Library 

1671 Caffin Avenue

New Orleans, LA 70117

(504) 940-2243



Reserve your copy of “Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda”

Reserve your copy of “Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda” 

We are expecting a new shipment of the beautiful book “Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda” mid-June.  Quantities are limited.  Written by Yohannes Gebregeorgis and beautifully illustrated by a local Mekelle artist, “Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda” is the story of a young girl preparing for her first Ashenda festival, an annual event celebrated in the Tigray Region. 

Please contact tigrayreads@yahoo.com for more information.

Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda: An Ethiopian Girl’s Festival
Lula and Regat read Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda at the dedication of the Segenat Children and Youth Library in Mekelle.
Women and girls celebrate the Ashenda holiday
This young Ashenda girl became the inspiration for Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda by Yohannes Gebregeorgis

Yohannes Gebregeorgis to receive Honorary Membership to the American Library Association this June.

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Founder of the Tigray Library and Literacy Development Project, and Director of the Segenat Children and Youth Library, to receive honorary membership to the American Library Association this June.  Honorary Membership, ALA’s highest honor, is conferred in recognition of outstanding contributions of lasting importance to libraries and librarianship. 

Since the nomination was submitted, Yohannes has continued on with his great work. Included in his recent achievements are:

Founded the Tigray Library and Literacy Development Project,

The establishment of the Segenat Children and Youth Library in Mekelle (see Leonard Kniffel’s article in American Libraries: http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/news/08232010/new-youth-library-eth…

The publication of Tirhas Celebrates Ashenda: An Ethiopian Girl’s Festival (published in English and Tigrigna), distributed to over 3,000 girls during the Ashenda festival in August 2010.

An audio version of Silly Mammo.

Work has begun on a children’s library in the town of Adi Gudom.

For updated information check out Yohannes’ Facebook page or the Segenat Library Facebook page:



Contact Yohannes at tigrayreads@yahoo.com

See the full press release at:


Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Project Director, Segenat Children and Youth Library

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Closing Speaker for the 8th Thessaloniki International Book Fair in Thessaloniki, Greece

Yohannes Gebregeorgis will be the closing speaker for the 8th Thessaloniki International Book Fair in Thessaloniki, Greece, which will be held May 5 – 8, 2011.  This international conference will focus on “Books and Education:  What Needs to Change.”

The event is co-sponsored by National Book Centre of Greece (ΕΚΕΒΙ), Ministry of Culture, HELEXPO and the Panhellenic Federation of Publishers and Booksellers (PΟΕΒ) is billed as a “top-ranking event of commercial and cultural charcter for the sector of publishers, creators and book lovers.”   

 Yohannes will be one of twelve prominent writers and intellectuals from nine countries  including:  Tariq Ali (Pakistan-UK), Salwa Al Neimi (Syria), Gamal Ghitany (Egypt), David Grossman (Israel), Tuna Kiremitci (Turkey), Hoda Barakat (Lebanon), Sophie Bessie (Tunisia), Boualem Sansal (Algeria), Malek Chebel (Algeria), Bahaa Taher (Egypt) and Subhi Hadidi (Syria).

For more information, click on http://www.thessalonikibookfair.com/2011/grafeiotypou_en.asp

Silly Mammo on CD released

The much beloved “Silly Mammo” by Yohannes Gebregeorgis has just been released in audio format. The Amharic text is read by the author, Ato Yohannes, himself. Contact tigrayreads@yahoo.com for more details.

For the Heart….From the Heart

For the Heart….From the Heart: Pencils from Hillendale Elementary School in Chads Fort, PA to Finote Selam Elementary

In a successful effort to spread “random acts of kindness” students of Hillendale Elementary School in Chads Ford, PA collected 1,430 pencils to share with students at the Finote Selam Elementary School in Finote Selam, Gojam, Ethiopia.  The project was a part of the “For the Heart….From the Heart” campaign that was spearheaded by Hillendale student, Mahalet Tegenu, who introduced the campaign via the school’s closed circuit television.

Through the project, the students learned about the culture and customs of Ethiopia and identified Ethiopia on a map. Third grade students used their math skills to count each and every pencil.  

Mesfin Tegenu hand-carried the donation to Finote Selam, where he joined Abiyu Berlie, currently living in New Jersey.   Ato Abiyu and Ato Mesfin delivered the pencils to Ato Abiyu’s former school, the Finote Selam Elementary School, and distributed them to the children. 

Ato Abiyu met with Keith Keyser, a current Peace Corps Volunteer, and Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Tigray Library and Literacy Development Project, to lay out plans to establish the Finote Selam Children and Youth Library in Finote Selam.  This project is being funded by private donations and a Peace Corps Partnership Grant.

As can be seen from the photos, the students in Finote Selam were quite excited to receive the pencils and the gifts sent by Hillendale Elementary “From the Heart.” 

1,430 pencils were collected by students at Hillendale Elementary School in Chads Ford, PA for students at the Finote Selam Elementary School
Mesfin Tegenu and students with their gifts of pencils from Hillendale Elementary School.
Mesfin Tegenu distributes pencils to the students at Finote Selam Elementary School.
Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Abiyu Berlie, and Keith Keyser meet in Finote Selam to discuss the Finote Selam Children and Youth Library.
Ato Abiyu at his former elementary school with current students.
Students outside of the Finote Selam Elementary School waiting for class to begin.
A young student by a wall mural of a map of the world.


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.