What is known must be shared

The majority of people in countries like Ethiopia face challenges to acquire knowledge to become successful in life. Access to libraries is limited because of lack of facilities. Book collections are often outdated and lack important subjects. Therefore digital learning and access to Internet is much needed. This growing demand for library services is strongest among young people.

Our Foundation was involved with the establishment of the Wolaitta Public Library in Sodo town in Wolaitta, southern Ethiopia. Since its opening in 2006 we have helped to improve the library with extra books an new facilities.

Wolaitta Public Library - a well used facility


By being the only Public library in Wolaitta Sodo it fulfills a great need. It offers access to books and digital learning materials. The library is well used and the number of visitors is growing every year. The staff records more than 500 visitors every day!

The Library was constructed in 2006 by WODA with a 90% fund of ISOB Foundation. 70% of this fund was donated by "Wilde Ganzen" in Hilversum, the Netherlands.

The aim of Wolaitta Library is to empower visitors to develop and create the skills, knowledge and ideas they need to participate in their society and bring development to their impoverished region.The Library is mostly used by young people who have no other place to go when they want to study outside the school or their homes.

see photo pages for the results

Latest Project Oct 2018 - Sept 2019

Benches for the Library Compound and Expansion of Wi-Fi network

Students often use the library to improve their school results and pass the national exams. When it is crowded in the main reading room the students go to the garden to read, study, use Wi-Fi and discuss with their peer groups. But the garden compound lacked seats and Wi-Fi was very weak.

With the help of three donors 12 stone benches and new Wi-Fi equipment have been bought in 2019, and new routers and wireless cards have been installed by our local contact Ashenafi. As a result both inside and outside the library access to Wi-Fi is much improved and with the new stone benches more than 40 extra seats are available in the garden.


Final Report and Funders

ISOB raised € 3,250.- for the Wi-Fi improvements and stone benches. We are thankful for the contributions of:


"De Johanna-Donk-Grote-Stichting",   Willem Meindert De Hoop Stichting",  "Haella Fonds".   Thank You!

 New stone benches in the Library compound.

New Wi-Fi equipment for use both inside and outside in the Library compound.

Eindverslag (pdf file in Dutch)


 Sustainability of the new facilities

The local Municipality owns the Library, maintains the building and pays the library staff. The municipality is taking care of the new facilities. In this way this project is most sustainable.

More info: : Wolaitta Public Library foto-page.pdf   : Introductie_Openbare_Bibliotheek_Sodo-Ethiopie.pdf


Projects accomplished in 2016-17: E-learning and Tension boxes

In 2015 the librarians expressed a strong wish to provide their visitors with "Access to digital information" to acquire skills, update their knowledge, expand their horizon and help solve regional poverty. Besides there was a need for extra furniture, preferable "Tension box tables" that facilitate vulnerable students who have difficulty to concentrate. In particular girls who feel insecure in the library hall benefit.

With our help 10 new computers had been purchased. Then various textbooks, plasma videos and other reference books from ministry of education had been installed on them. The digital information is well-used by the mainly young visitors. Users also can get instruction on how to use the computers and digital sources.

The Digital Centre offers improved study opportunities:

Workers of the WODA Workshop constructed 25 Tension box tables: 10 of these serve as computer tables (left) and 15 serve as protected reading tables (right).

The library promotes social inclusion, enhanced knowledge and a taste for lifelong learning!

Final Report and Funders

ISOB raised € 5,100.- for the Internet Set-up and new furniture. We are thankful for the contributions of our funders:

               Dirk Bos Fonds

and we are grateful for the gifts of individuals in Canada and in the Netherlands. Download our final report  NL

Importance of the Library

The overall importance of Public Libraries is described in the IFLA UNESCO Public Library Manifesto.


Library Staff and a sponsor from the Netherlands.