Friends of African Village Libraries Newsletter August 2015
Address: P.O. Box 90533, San Jose, CA 95109 Email: email@example.com Website & Blog: www.favl.org
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
Professor of Economics
Santa Clara University
East Africa Director
Professor of English
City University of New York
Meet New FAVL Coordinator for Ghana
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
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.
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
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!
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 FastPencil.com,
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
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
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
funds. The Global
Mitzvah Program of
Temple Emanuel in
the funds to purchase
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 favl.org
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
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