Monday, October 20, 2008

A Message From Jane Kurtz...

"Hi Julie,
I wanted to be sure you knew about this (article below), I believe in all my bones and cells that education of the next (or NEXT) generation is going to ultimately be the only way Ethiopians are going to start solving their country's problems. This is the most heroic person I know to come along to tackle the issue of literacy--and we've planted 16 libraries where children used to have no books. But we're also really on the edge because the more our donations grow, the more we try to DO things in Ethiopia. Please let everyone know to vote for Yohannes (it literally takes minutes--and people can vote more than once). We have volunteers who've mobilized schools and Girl Scout troops, and colleges, and churches and other organizations to vote, too. And will you ask people to consider even a small donation to Ethiopia Reads? We're on the edge of great things but it feels more like purely on The Edge :> Hope you might get to meet Yohannes in star-studded LA. Thanks! Jane"

Yohannes Gebregeorgis, a native of Ethiopia and children's literacy advocate, has been named a Top 10 Hero of the Year by CNN. Mr. Gebregeorgis was selected from more than 3,000 individuals nominated by viewers throughout the year. Finalists were selected by a Blue Ribbon panel of judges that includes Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall and Deepak Chopra. The Top 10 Heroes will be recognized in CNN's "All-Star Tribute" to air on Thanksgiving.

Yohannes was first recognized as a "hero" by CNN in May for his work championing children in Ethiopia.. A former political refugee who worked as a librarian at San Francisco Public Library, Yohannes is the co-founder of Ethiopia Reads, a non-profit organization that works to create a reading culture in Ethiopia by connecting children with books. In a country where 99% of schools have no libraries, Yohannes and Ethiopia Reads are improving lives, one book at a time.

Here is a cool video about Yohannes' Donkey Mobile Library...

For more on Ethiopia Reads go HERE.

For more on Jane Kurtz go HERE.

Jane has agreed to do some 'guest blogging' here. If you have any questions for her, please e-mail them to me!

I will post this over at Eyes on Books too.

Oh, and check out this inspirational family. I am in love with the Chilly Ethiopian family ! They are amazing.

Happy Monday!


  1. Julie, I linked to you. I tried to post the Yohannes vote box on my blog along with reference to your post, but it wouldn't let me do that and also edit with words... But, I'm hoping people will come to your blog and vote! Thanks for posting this.


  2. That is so cool. I LOVE Ethiopia Reads and Jane Kurtz! Ok... emailing you now with my question...

  3. Thanks Julie. I am off to vote now. I will post a link to your post on my blog as well.


  4. I had a chance to go and hear Jane Kurtz speak last week, and I blew it. I was disappointed in myself for not making it happen, and then I was starting to get over it, and then I read this. Now that I know that she is your BFF I am just beyond remorseful.

    Gotta go vote.

  5. Such an impressive blog. You are going to have Jane Kurtz as a guest blogger! I have voted for Yohannes and will continue voting. I will also get the word out as well.