Leyla is the inspiration behind OHBD. Since she was three and discovered that some kids don’t get the chance to go to school or to learn read, she has been involved in changing that reality. In her words, “That’s not fair and we need to fix it.” When she was seven, she started writing her own talk and said she just needed a “coach.”
We wanted to share her 2018 words with you again since they remain applicable:
Hello. SehLAHM. My name is Leyla Marie Fasika Angelidis and I won a reading award which had the quote “Reading is Dreaming with Your Eyes Open.” Our Ready Set Go books helped me to dream my way to the Rift Valley where 23 types of flamingos can only be found there. They helped me learn the secret of the Happy Herder and trick the Runaway Injera.
In Ethiopia, some kids don’t get the chance to learn to read. I view this problem as a big lion or AHNbehssah. But as an Ethiopian proverb says, “If spiders unite, they can tie up a lion.” So, if we unite, like the spiders, we can tie up this lion and give all kids the chance to dream with their eyes open. Thank you! AHmahsayguhNAHloh!
You can also hear Leyla’s 2019 talk at our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/pjazjJRa1ZU