>Sunday 8th November – Garowe

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Up at 5.30am to catch the UN Humanitarian Air Service flight to Garowe. There are just 6 passengers and we land 2 hours later in the middle of nowhere with hardly a building in sight. Africa Education Trust’s staff greet me and I am taken to the Care International Guest House in Garowe, 40 km from the airport, accompanied by the usual armed escort. Soon after, we visit one of the two AET supported libraries in Garowe – the school has a good learner-centred ethos, with a Head teacher keen to improve the school. Half a class is in the library doing an assignment on desertification in Puntland. I speak to Abdul Kader who tells me that it is ‘unquestionable’ that the library improves his language skills and academic performance. He likes to read novels to improve his English and would like cassettes so that he can also listen. Abdul and his friends are anxious that the next consignment of books arrives in time for their exams next June. Like many of the shops in Garowe itself, the library exterior is brightly illustrated with a painting so no-one can miss the library. Overall, an impressive school. Later on, we visit the second school library – Al-Hawa – all the books face outwards so the arrangement of the books needs to be improved, but a number of girls come in to use the library. Nearly half the students are girls at this school, which is hugely positive
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