Report on Activities of FAVL Multimedia Center
Houndé, Burkina Faso
October 2013 – April 2014
I. Introduction and Overview
Construction work on the Multimedia Center was completed in October 2013. The equipment
(computer, printer, stapler, etc) arrived in November. The first round of 3 books that were written
and illustrated by local authors was printed in January 2014 as part of the series Faso Bibliothèque.
Since then, we have been promoting the Multimedia Center at libraries, schools, and administrative
offices in order to search out local talent in Houndé and surrounding villages. Overall, the response
has been positive and in the past 3 months the Multimedia Center has received 13 literary works
from aspiring authors and artists.
Refurbishing the building: The work on the building was completed in October by Donkoui
KOURA. Furniture was transported from the FAVL office in Ouagadougou or ordered from a
Installing computers and printing equipment: The computer and printer were purchased in
Ouagadougou and transported to Houndé by FAVL staff.
Training session for librarians: This day-long session took place in November and was
intended to help local librarians to create their own books as well as to be liaisons between
the Multimedia Center and talented authors and illustrators in their respective villages.
Promotion of Multimedia Center and calling for local authors and illustrators: FAVL staff
Dounko SANOU, Molly MORRISON, and Alidou BOUE visited schools, libraries, and
administrative services to call for authors and illustrators who would be interested in writing
and illustrating books for the Multimedia Center. These promotional meetings took place in
Houndé and surrounding villages in the region of Tuy.
Editing and formatting of 6 books (7 other books are still in the editing process): FAVL staff
has typed, scanned images, formatted pages, and edited 6 different books. Often, editing the
stories can be tricky and FAVL staff works with the author personally to make necessary
changes. The editing of the text was done by FAVL staff as well as other community members
like school administrators and teachers.
Printing and distribution of the 6 completed books: Completed books have been distributed
to libraries as well as distributed to the Rotary Ouaga Savane and the national archives of
Burkina Faso. Authors and illustrators have also received copies of their finished books in
order to thank them for their work. See Appendix 1 for summary of printing and distribution.
III. Books Published
Series Faso Bibliothèque: This series caters to children and youth at a low reading level. Each page
features one sentence per page accompanied by one image per page. The books are printed in black
and white with a color card stock cover. The binding is folded and stapled.
1 - Le rêve d’Olivia (Olivia’s Dream)
A young girl falls asleep and dreams about going to school. She dreams that she will learn
how to read and write, make friends, become successful and ultimately become a nurse.
When she awakes, she asks her mother to register her for school.
2 - L’histoire de Nazounou (The Story of Nazounou)
A little boy is given an orange tree sapling which he plants and cares for. As he gets older, he
continues to care for the tree and plants more orange trees which eventually become an
orange orchard. He sells the oranges and becomes wealthy and successful.
3 - Le soleil et la lune (The Sun and the Moon)
This story is a myth about why the solar eclipse happens.
4 - Lisons ! (We Read!)
Children love to read and in this story they read everywhere in the village, from the library to
the line at the water pump to up in a tree.
5 - L’école et la résponsibilité des parents (School and the Responsibility of Parents)
This story highlights the struggles of girls who struggle in school because they are not
supported by their parents and they often don’t have enough time to study. Because they
aren’t successful in school, often these girls are taken out of school and married off young.
6 - Mon âge, ma chance (My Age, My Luck)
A baby is born and explores his surroundings and appreciates his world as he grows into a
IV. Reactions and Impressions to the Books by Readers
The overall response to the books has been positive. Initially, I was worried that the quality of the
books would discourage usage, but I do not believe that this is actually the case. The books seem to
be just as, or perhaps more, interesting to readers because the books are written by local authors.
The books that have been distributed to the libraries seem to be well received, even when compared
to higher quality books.
Discussions with library patrons and librarians have lead to the following observations:
The books in the Faso Bibliothèque series seem to average 2 times checked out of the library
per copy of the book. This is consistent with other children’s books because, due to the short
length, they are generally read while sitting at the library and returned to the shelf
From my casual observations, children seemed equally likely to pick up the Faso Bibliothèque
books as any other children’s book. This surprised me because I had assumed that they
would be more interested in the photographs than the black and white drawings, but it
seemed that usage was about the same between the Faso Bibliothèque books and other
books in color with hard covers and/or glossy pages.
There have been several commentaries on the fact that many people in these villages are
familiar with Alidou BOUE (the author of Olivia’s Dream) and they are excited to see his
photograph in the back of the book.
The reading level seems appropriate for primary school children beginning at age 9 or 10, if
the child attends school. However, younger children are still interested in the pictures and,
according to the librarians, offer their own commentary about what they imagine the text
High school age students have also expressed interest in the books; some read for pleasure
but most are interested in writing their own stories and are looking at the books as
inspiration. A few of these students have actually proposed stories or have submitted
The librarian in Koumbia covered her copies of the books with sheets of clear plastic and
stapled them in place which has increased the books’ durability and perhaps this should be
something that we do for future copies of Faso Bibliothèque.
Editing process: In order to produce quality work, it is important that the books are
grammatically correct. However, this is more difficult to achieve than initially assumed. Each
book has to be read multiple times by different people to catch all of the mistakes. We are
working on a system to edit the text with minimal usage of paper and ink that will streamline
Authors, illustrators, and editors asking for monetary compensation: Many would-be authors,
illustrators, and editors are asking for some sort of payment for their work. We’ve explained
many times that the books are for educational purposes and that FAVL is not producing
books for profit so we have nothing to offer except a copy of the finished product. This is not
always a satisfactory response, but there have been a number of people willing to work for
free so, for the moment, this doesn’t seem to be too serious of a problem.
Mechanical problems: There have been problems with the printer cartridge. For the moment,
these problems seem to be resolved but it will be important to train future staff how to deal
with mechanical problems with all of the equipment at the center.
VI. Future Activities
Intermediate and advanced reading level books: We have a number of children’s books,
which is a wonderful start, but it would be nice to have books for different age groups and
reading levels. Naturally, this will require more work during the editing process but it is
important to have a variety of literature available so we can avoid the production of a very
narrow range of books over and over again.
Books in local language: Several readers have requested books in local language in order to
preserve the language and culture of the region. Finding authors who can write in local
language or finding someone to translate a story written in French into a local language will
be a priority.
Books in Progress:
Series Faso Bibliothèque: This series caters to children and youth at a low reading level. Each
page features one sentence per page accompanied by one image per page. The books are
printed in black and white with a color card stock cover. The binding is folded and stapled.
8. Remi est un enfant sage et poli (Remi is a Wise and Polite Child
A young boy named Remi shows his responsible and caring nature by working in his
family’s fields and is rewarded for his good behavior.
9. Un enfant travailleur (A Child who Works)
A boy asks to be enrolled in school so that he can learn to read and write. He also
works in his family’s fields. His father is pleased and rewards the boy for his hard
10. Rama l'orpheline (Rama the Orphan)
Rama is an orphan who is withdrawn and sad, but through determination and hard
work she becomes a successful professional woman.
Series Contes du Burkina Faso: The books in this series are full-page images and a few lines
of text. The stories and illustrations were collected by Peace Corps volunteers in Burkina Faso
and are comprised of lore and other stories that have been passed down through
generations. All of the stories are written in French as well as translated into Mooré and Jula.
1. Le tambour d’Ali (Ali’s Drum)
Ali is a young boy who loves to play his drum. He plays his drum all over the village
and with his father and grandfather, who are also drummers.
2. Le chasseur et le crocodile (The Hunter and the Crocodile)
This story explains why the crocodiles of this area are considered sacred in a village
3. Princesse Yennenga (Princess Yennenga)
The origin story of the Mossi people revolves around a princess named Yennega who
is a brave female warrior.
4. Le voleur de poissons (The Fish Thief)
A rabbit and a hyena go fishing together and the hyena is tricked by the crafty rabbit
that ends up stealing all of his fish.
5. Petit Rouge et le chacal (Little Red and the Jackal)
This is the familiar story of Little Red Riding Hood, but is has been adapted to be
accessible for Burkinabè villagers.
Reading Clubs: In order to promote the books to readers and to help librarians to get the
most out of the books that are being produced by the Multimedia Center, we are planning
several “Reading Clubs” at FAVL libraries. These Reading Clubs will help the librarians to
better utilize the books produced by Multimedia Center by helping them develop discussion
questions for the books.
Illustrator’s Workshop: To help illustrators improve their techniques, learn new techniques,
and to motivate them to continue to illustrate books for Multimedia Center books, we are
planning a 3-day training.
Printing and Distribution of Books
Books printed and distributed by Houndé Multimedia Center
Printed Béréba Dohoun Karaba Koumbia Boni Sara Dimikuy
Libraries Author Illustrator
Series: Faso Bibliothèque
N°1 Le reve d'Olivia 27 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 1 1 2 5 3 2 27
N°2 L'histoire de Nazounou 27 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 1 1 2 5 3 2 27
N°3 Le Soleil et la Lune 27 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 1 1 2 5 3 2 27
N°4 Lisons! 25 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 1 1 2 5 3 25
N°5 L'école et le
résponsibilité des parents 19 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 5 3 19
N°6 Mon age, ma chance 19 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 5 3 19
N°7 Je découvre le marché 19 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 5 3 19
N°8 Remi est un enfant
sage et poli in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress
N°9 Un enfant travailleur in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress
N°10 Rama l'orpheline in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress in progress
Sub-Total 163 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 24 7 7 14 35 21 6 163
Series: Sensibilisations sur la santé
N°1 Le conte du savon
contre les microbes 11 2 5 3 1 11
N°2 Issaka est malade 11 2 5 3 1 11
N°3 Fatou perd les dents 11 2 5 3 1 11
N°4 Mariam le moustique 24 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 2 5 3 1 24
Sub-Total 57 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 0 0 8 20 12 4 57
Total books printed and
distributed 220 220