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Favl newsletter August 2015


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FAVL newsletter August 2015

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Favl newsletter August 2015

  1. 1. Friends of African Village Libraries Newsletter August 2015 Address: P.O. Box 90533, San Jose, CA 95109 Email: Website & Blog: FAVL’s mission is to help create and foster a culture of reading. Generous donors and volunteers enable us to work with local communities and non-profit organizations to support 18 libraries in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda, to develop innovative literacy programs and to provide ongoing library staff training. FAVL also supports the Uganda Community Library Association with 81 member libraries. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, donations to FAVL are tax-deductible. A team of North American volunteers supports the FAVL paid staff in Africa. Current fundraising priorities: Building an endowment for each of the FAVL-supported community libraries Renewing stock of locally-purchased books by African authors Producing more micro-books in local languages and languages of instruction West Africa Director Michael Kevane Professor of Economics Santa Clara University East Africa Director Kate Parry Professor of English Hunter College City University of New York Meet New FAVL Coordinator for Ghana Paul Ayutoliya FAVL and the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (CESRUD) are excited to an- nounce the appointment of Paul Ayutoliya as our new Ghana Coordinator. Paul, from Sum- brungu in the Upper East region of Ghana, took over the leadership in February 2015. Paul has been working diligently and with great passion to fulfill his duties. He visits each of FAVL's three Ghana libraries every week to measure patterns in library patronage, book checkouts and material usage. He observes librarians and users interacting, and records which books and activities are most popular with our child and adult read- ers. In his first visits to FAVL's three libraries supported in Ghana, Paul met with the local library committees and citizens of the community to introduce himself as the new coordinator, to discover how the library programs are going, and to learn about the steps that the communities have put in place to ensure the library’s long-term sustainability. Paul emphasized the mission of FAVL that every child and adult should be able to seize the opportunity to pick up a book and read. In his various reports (posted to the FAVL blog), Paul writes about the seasonal and locational variations in library usage. “At Gowrie- Kunkua I went round the tables to look at what each of the [older children] was studying. Some... read social studies, mathematics, science, while others read story books....including Crocodile Bread by Kathy Knowles, Fati and the Honey Tree, My Big Alphabet book, the Strange Bird and many others.” While Sumbrungu Li- brary users in early May were engaged in reading, story- telling, s puzzles, and group reading, by late May the library was abuzz with stu- dents from the polytechnic writing their second semester exams. Paul has noted also the importance of FAVL's expanded evening library hours when the libraries are illuminated by solar power. During this time, girls are more likely to be able to use the library after completing their homework and helping their mothers prepare supper. We welcome Paul to FAVL and appreciate his commitment to helping improve the FAVL Ghana community libraries and to support their pro- grams, staff, and users of all ages and genders.
  2. 2. Beoog Biiga II Project Creating 20 New Libraries in Burkina Uganda Summer Health Camps: Back by Popular Demand! The Health Camps project funded by Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) in Uganda that met with enthusiastic response last year has been great- ly enhanced and expanded. Youth participation grew from 103 in August 2014 to 525 in June 2015. In last year's project, students in five libraries of the Uganda Community Li- braries Association (UgCLA) immersed themselves in learning to access and research health information on computers, discussing health issues— especially HIV/AIDS—playing games and eating nutritious meals. This year each of the host community libraries set up a Youth Leadership Group to continue the discussions begun at the camp, spread the word through school health clubs, and carry out nutritional projects such as vegetable gar- dens and even one fishpond. The impact assessment of the 2014 camps has just been completed by UgCLA. These are the main findings: The partici- pants were unanimously enthusiastic, describing the camps as educative, organized, helpful, good, great and fantastic. Many recommended longer and more frequent camps. The activity most often mentioned was mastering computer skills, but participants also responded warmly to the subject of caring for the sick. Parents were encouraging as well: “According to what my son obtained from the camp,” observed one, “it was good be- cause there is at least a change in his behaviors both at home and in his friends. [Before] he had no interest in reading books but now he tries his best to read books and … he is now an English-speaking boy.” The facilitators (there were three for each camp: the librarian, a teacher and a health worker) found the camps inspiring. A teacher reported, “It made me a changed person because before the camp I couldn’t involve myself in the voluntary work.” One librarian enthused, “The Health Camp project has very much transformed the Resource Centre [and] empowered me and my colleagues to manage the Centre as a 21st not a 20th -century facility.” Campers tending their garden at Nambi Sseppuuya Community Resource Centre In January 2015, FAVL signed a contract with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to help local governments establish and manage 20 community libraries over the next four years in the remote Bam and Sanmatenga provinces of northern Burkina Faso. Since then, FAVL staff have been working intensively on this challenging undertaking. FAVL has hired two program officers, a regional coordinator, and two animateurs (who work with librarians to imple- ment programs). Planning is currently underway for training of the newly selected community librarians in October. Staff have developed a comprehensive list of more than 400 books to be purchased as the initial collection for each library. FAVL is taking advantage of CRS’s extensive experience with rigorous accounting and auditing procedures. New software ensures close tracking of funds, and internal controls minimize the risk of waste or diversion. Almost all the villages have selected a building to be refurbished and repurposed for use as a library. FAVL's approach is to refurbish existing buildings, often abandoned meeting halls, teacher houses or storehouses. After CRS technicians finish inspecting the buildings, local build- ing contractors will submit bids for the refurbishment. One community, Kongoussi, will refur- bish an existing public library previously established with assistance from the French govern- ment (photo on right). FAVL is looking forward to opening most of the libraries by the end of 2015!
  3. 3. FAVL Produces Four New Books for Early Readers New Sebba Library in Progress Sanou Dounko, director of FAVL Burkina Faso, has taken the lead in creating four superb new children's picture books. Printed through online publisher, copies of each will be distributed to FAVL libraries. Julie visite le jardin du village (Julie Visits the Village Gar- den), by Dounko Sanou, tells the story of a little girl explor- ing a vegetable garden. With pictures of plants and tools, young readers learn basic vo- cabulary associated with a typ- ical garden in Burkina Faso. Le Festival du Cheval (The Horse Festival) is by Molly Morrison, a Peace Corps volun- teer who spent a year leading the Multimedia Center in Houndé. With vivid pictures and exceptional drawings, Mol- ly brings to life the story of an expedition to Barani to see the traditional festival. La Culture de la Femme à Béréba (Work Group in Bé- réba) by Dounko Sanou, shares one of many Burkina Faso customs. The husband (and most of the village) helps harvest his wife’s par- ents’ cotton field. The work is celebratory and convivial! Zenemi KOURA, a biography written by Dounko Sanou with graphics and drawings by Mol- ly Morrison. The book follows Koura from adolescent soldier to successful adult farmer. Through words and images, we discover an openness to change and a strong will to survive and adapt. Plans are underway for a new library in Sebba village, Burkina Faso, through the initiative of Ethan Greeley, a Maryland middle-schooler. Ethan chose to use part of the money he raised for his Bar Mitzvah to launch this project in the village in which his mother grew up. His parents, Salamatou and David Greeley, are also actively raising funds. The Global Mitzvah Program of Temple Emanuel in Kensington, MD, generously donated the funds to purchase necessary furniture for the library. Sebba is located in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso. It has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world: 31% of children drop out before finishing primary school. FAVL hopes to open the library before the start of the new school year in October. This project will help the community of Sebba to organize effective reading pro- grams and to increase accessibility to books. FAVL has already made several site visits, and the community leaders are excited about the project. The students are enthusiastic, stating that they love to read and will welcome easier access to books. They also hope the library will enrich their vocabulary, their knowledge, and their performance in school. 5th grade students in Sebba Support more projects like these! Donate by mail or online at The weekly Girls’ Health Clubs in four FAVL libraries in Burkina Faso's Tuy region provided sup- port for girls facing the challenges of their teen years, when pregnancy and early marriage are forcing girls to drop out of school. Guided by librarians, members discussed health concerns and learned to use smartphones to re- search their questions. Although family planning is part of the school curriculum, teachers who feel uncomfort- able with the topic often skip it. This project was fund- ed by EIFL, Electronic Information for Libraries. Girls’ Health Clubs Bridged Gap
  4. 4. NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID SAN JOSE, CA PERMIT NO. 1014 Students from St Joseph’s Primary School, visiting Kitengesa Library in Uganda, take a break from reading for an energizing game with Canadian volunteers. Friends of African Village Libraries P.O. Box 90533 San Jose, CA 95109-3533 Current Resident or