Friends of African Village Libraries Newsletter

November 2013

Popular Book Series Enlivens FAVL Libraries
The 6-volume s...
Project Transforms Twenty Libraries in Uganda
From Kate Parry, FAVL Co-Director for East Africa and
the Director of UgCLA,...
Ghana After-School Programs
Help Students Break Through Barriers

Kitengesa Library Awarded for
Innovative Work with Deaf ...
Friends of African Village Libraries
P.O. Box 90533
San Jose, CA 95109-3533
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

The graphic novel se...
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Friends of African VIllage Libraries Nov 2013 newsletter

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Friends of African VIllage Libraries Nov 2013 newsletter

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Friends of African VIllage Libraries Nov 2013 newsletter

  1. 1. Friends of African Village Libraries Newsletter November 2013 Popular Book Series Enlivens FAVL Libraries The 6-volume series of the best-selling graphic novel Aya of Yopougon, written by Marguerite Abouet (from Ivory Coast) and illustrated by Clément Oubrerie, has drawn an enthusiastic response from readers throughout West Africa. The books have been highly popular among FAVL readers and librarians. Thanks to the generosity of numerous donors, FAVL raised $1500 to purchase a complete set of the books for each of the thirteen libraries in Burkina Faso. Generous donors have enabled FAVL to establish and continuously manage 18 libraries in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda. FAVL also supports the Uganda Community Library Association, with 64 member libraries. Current fundraising priorities: Building an endowment for each of the FAVL-managed community libraries Renewing stock of locally-purchased books by African authors Producing more micro-books in local languages and each country’s language of instruction to encourage a culture of reading Friends of African Village Libraries is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit. West Africa Director Michael Kevane Associate Professor of Economics Santa Clara University mkevane@scu.edu East Africa Director Kate Parry Professor of English Hunter College City University of New York kateparry2@earthlink.net The series depicts the daily life of Aya, a compassionate, opinionated and ambitious young woman who prefers to study at home rather than go out partying with her girlfriends. Recently, a new movie based on the books was screened in Burkina’s capital city, Ouagadougou. FAVL took the opportunity to hold a mini workshop with a group of FAVL librarians. They collaboratively drafted a guide for librarians to lead discussion groups. The FAVL-Burkina librarians have been promoting the books and hosting discussion groups with village teens. Many teens reflected on how they might make better choices, in order to avoid some of the challenging situations that Aya's friends find themselves in. Souleymane Tingueri (above right), FAVL’s newest Librarian at Kiembara, writes in his review that many of the problems woven into the plot are caused by poor communication between young people and their parents. He believes that this book can be a catalyst for greater awareness and more open dialogue. Alou Koundaba (at right), FAVL Librarian in Béléhédé concludes his own review with these words: Dear readers, reading this book enables you to make behavior changes and a better tomorrow. Thank you to GlobalGiving for the Aya de Yopougon books! Address: P.O. Box 90533, San Jose, CA 95109-3533 website: www.favl.org email: info@favl.org
  2. 2. Project Transforms Twenty Libraries in Uganda From Kate Parry, FAVL Co-Director for East Africa and the Director of UgCLA, FAVL’s partner organization in Uganda Since 2011, the Uganda Community Libraries Association (UgCLA) has been collaborating with the British charity Book Aid International in a project called “Transforming Community Libraries.” Each of the twenty participating libraries received several hundred books and an award of 1000 British pounds. UgCLA’s role was to select the libraries through a proposal-writing competition, train the librarians on how to use and account for the money, and carry out field visits to make sure that the grants are used responsibly. In each of the twenty libraries, the effects have been truly transformative. Some highlights: The Six Community Library at Busia, which started as virtually nothing, has become a building well-stocked with books; the shabby little room used by the Christian Community Foundation at Bududa is now a furnished, brightly-painted library full of activity; the Busolwe Public Library’s new tent can accommodate children without disturbing older students who are looking for a quiet place to study. All the librarians have gained experience and UgCLA’s capacity and prestige have been greatly enhanced. Book Aid International is now seeking funds to set up children’s corners in 60 libraries in 60 countries, including Uganda. If that project is funded, UgCLA will have the opportunity to work more closely with Uganda’s public library network and will receive valuable training for its librarians. So wish Book Aid success in their fundraising! Summer Reading Camps Celebrate 6 Years of Success A total of 175 children participated with enthusiasm in the sixth edition of FAVL’s ever- popular reading camps at the libraries of Béréba, Dimikuy, Koumbia, Pobé and Béléhédé. The campers spent a week immersed in reading activities, games and art projects. One of the many benefits is that improving reading and writing skills helps the students succeed in the upcoming middle-school entrance exam, which determines whether they will be able to continue with their education. The librarians ran the camps for the first time this year. To prepare them for this challenge, the Regional Coordinator and the Regional Activities Facilitator, Dounko Sanou and Alidou Boué, organized a “training camp” where each librarian led sessions under their close supervision. The librarians definitely stepped up as camp coordinators, and Dounko and Alidou noticed a remarkable difference in their selfassurance and skills. Big thanks to former Peace Corps volunteers Emilie Crofton and Alison Wallace, and also Lynn Dunn, who helped fund the reading camps. Alison and Lynn created the “Love of Learning” scholarship program for 20 high school girls in Béréba and Dimikuy villages. The girls serve as library interns, working closely with the librarians to organize regular activities for primary school children. As Reading Camp Assistants (photo at left), they tutored the weakest readers and helped the kids create and perform skits about hand washing, HIV/AIDS and female circumcision. Help us keep all of these programs going! Read the easy and creative ideas on the green insert in this newsletter.
  3. 3. Ghana After-School Programs Help Students Break Through Barriers Kitengesa Library Awarded for Innovative Work with Deaf Students Teachers and librarians report that students in the After-School programs at FAVL’s three community libraries in Ghana are becoming much better readers and devoted library users. Some have even been inspired to make different plans for their futures. The “Innovation Award for Social Inclusion” from Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) was awarded in April to the Kitengesa Community Library in Uganda for its work with the children at the neighboring Good Samaritan School for the Deaf. The programs at Sumbrungu, Gowrie-Kunkua and Sherigu are funded by the Chen-Yet Sen Family Foundation based in Hong Kong. Fifteen primary and junior high students at each library worked with a teacher and librarian four afternoons a week for a full month, reading together and doing skill-building activities targeted to their needs, as well as a variety of fun and challenging word games. The program will last eight months. The award included a grant of $1500, which the library used to buy Sign Language Dictionaries, host a sign language workshop for parents of the deaf students, and initiate a Library Scholarship for one student from the Good Samaritan School for the Deaf. The deaf Library Scholar will help run the library’s sign language club (which already has 20 members!) and will join the team of other Library Scholars from the nearby secondary school whose tasks include helping keep the library clean and hosting visitors. The Coordinator of FAVL’s Ghana libraries, Cletus Yine, said, "At first, some of the kids were shy and afraid to read in front of their fellow students, but now most of them can stand boldly in front of the group and read aloud without fear.” The Good Samaritan students are now frequent library visitors. At right: two deaf students reading a poem painted on the library wall. Newest Library Opens in Kiembara The Jackie Quesada-Kiembara Village Library in Burkina Faso opened its doors to the community in September. What once was an abandoned building with a leaky roof has been revitalized into an attractive, welcoming reading space. A courtyard with a tin roof provides much-needed shade for outdoor reading programs. Pictured above are Rejoice Salifu and Blessing Atiah Atampoka, in the after-school program in Gowrie. Blessing says she’d never visited the library because she feared she’d be kicked out for not knowing how to use the materials. Relieved to discover that the librarian is in fact very helpful, and newly confident in her skills, she continues to be a regular visitor even after completing the program. Rejoice reports that her favorite book during the program was Folaké and Her Four Brothers, about a young girl who dreams of going to the university. She admires Foulaké’s determination to pursue her education before marriage, and to get a job so she won’t have to depend on her husband for everything. Both girls say that they’re now planning to have careers as English teachers when they grow up. The library was brought to life through the united efforts of the community of Kiembara and the generosity of the family and friends of Jackie Quesada, a Peace Corps volunteer in Kiembara from 2006 to 2008. When she suddenly passed away in 2012, her family wanted to honor her memory and her love for the people of Kiembara. They made a proposal to FAVL, and organized efforts to raise $15,000 for the building renovation, purchase of books and furniture, and provide a 5-year endowment. The new librarian, Souleymane Tingueri (at right) traveled to Dohoun for a two-week training with experienced FAVL librarians. Very impressed with FAVL’s approach and training, Souleymane says, “I take my hat off to FAVL and its donors, in great appreciation for the experience this gives me.”
  4. 4. Friends of African Village Libraries P.O. Box 90533 San Jose, CA 95109-3533 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED The graphic novel series Aya of Yopougon has taken West Africa by storm! The six-volume set is now in all thirteen FAVL libraries in Burkina Faso — to the delight of teen and adult readers alike, including this secondary school reader at the Dimikuy Community Library. Author Marguerite Abouet and illustrator Clément Oubrerie recently visited Ouagadougou, and met with FAVL librarians. NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID SAN JOSE, CA PERMIT NO. 1014

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