Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL)

Friends of African Village Libraries is committed to long-term management of and support for small community libraries in rural Africa. Our goal is to establish long-term relationships with community libraries, rather than provide an initial donation and move on to another village. We believe that every child and adult should have the opportunity to pick up a book and read, so we are dedicated to increasing access to reading material and other information in rural villages in sub-Saharan Africa.
Jul 16, 2012

2012 Reading Camps Fully Funded!!

School supplies we will be using for the camps
School supplies we will be using for the camps

The 2012 edition of FAVL's summer reading camps will kick off on July 23rd. The participants were chosen through a lottery system at local schools. The guides have been updated with new activities and improvements from last year's camps. Questionnaires have been prepared for the participants. We're all set to go! Thanks to many generous donations and some fundraising events, we were able to get depass the money that we sought, which means we will be able to purchase even more materials to make the reading camps great. We are going to be able to hold camps at all 12 libraries for 300 fourth grade students. The money was used to buy school supplies such as notebooks, pen, colored pencils and erasers that they will use for various activities during the camps. We were also able to buy supplementary materials to hold demonstrations on dental cleaning powders and anti-mosquito creams made from cheap local materials. We were also able to get the funds to build permanent handwashing stations at each library that will be there after the camps are over to encourage hygiene in the library communities as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste to each of the camp participants. The reading materials we will be using include two books from a series called Bouba and Zaza, produced by UNICEF. The series is culturally and developmentally appropriate, and so we were able to easily incorporate them into our activity plans. We were able to purchase 25 copies each of 2 books: one about household dangers (electrical sockets, plugs, knives, fire) and respecting water. All of the donations that we received have enabled us to purchase a lot of materials that make reading camps possible AND successful. So thank you to you all for helping the 2012 edition of FAVL's reading camps!

A winner at one of our fundraising events
A winner at one of our fundraising events
Dounko at 2011 camp with Bouba and Zaza
Dounko at 2011 camp with Bouba and Zaza

Links:

Apr 26, 2012

African Village Libraries - Role of Aya Books

Funds raised from GlobalGiving and other generous donors will enable us to furnish each of FAVL’s 15 libraries in Burkina Faso and Ghana with a set of the wildly popular "Aya de Yopougon" graphic novels. The graphic novel series follows the real-life adventures of the heroine, Aya, and her friends and family in the neighborhood of Yopougon in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Kids love the Aya books because they can relate to the culture reflected in the storyline and enjoy looking at the drawings.  Both elements are very important for encouraging children to read, which helps them maintain their literacy skills and reading fluency outside of the classroom and during the long summer break.

The fictional girl from Côte d'Ivoire has taken Burkina Faso and community libraries in western Africa by storm!  The Aya series are the most popular children’s books in the few FAVL libraries lucky enough to have even one set of the books.  As a former Peace Corps volunteer and instrumental founder of FAVL’s newest library in Béléhédé says, “The library has Aya 1 through 5 and none of the books are ever in the library for long. The minute one Aya is returned, it is immediately checked out again.”

The need for more culturally relevant children’s books is demonstrated by the high number of visits to FAVL libraries.  For example, FAVL’s oldest and most frequented library, Béréba, Burkina Faso, welcomed 13,461 visitors in 2011.  The village library in Sara, Burkina Faso, established in 2005, has rapidly grown in popularity:  it received 4,954 visitors in 2011.  Many of these library patrons are primary and secondary school children. Imagine the return on your investment (e.g., book usage, the encouragement of a love of reading in a child, and literacy development), not to mention the joy, a set of Aya books would create in the FAVL libraries.

Each FAVL library should have at least one set of the Aya series in its collection.  Your GlobalGiving donation will help provide culturally relevant “Aya” books to FAVL’s rural village libraries. We thank you for your support as we bring access to books and a love of reading to unserved areas.

We would also like to thank all the generous past GlobalGiving donors who have helped FAVL create new libraries and support operations in our existing libraries.  These libraries are popular and integral cultural and informational centers in the tiny Burkinabè villages that are the core of our mission.

Links:

Apr 16, 2012

Camp Organization Underway!

Learning how to read the alphabet
Learning how to read the alphabet

We're working on organizing the camps for the 2012 season. Progress has been slow but steady. The timeline for the camps has been worked out, and the first will in Béréba from July 23 to July 28, and they will continue at all 12 of our libraries until September 29. So the next six months will be very busy. We have worked out the schedule for this year. This year, a special focus will be put on books and activities that focus on hygiene and health: handwashing, tooth-brushing, malaria, HIV/AIDS, dysentery and treating wounds. Money donated will go to buying books on these topics and supplies to for our reading activities (including toothpaste, toothbrushes, local ingredients to make anti-mosquito cream). So far we have collected about a third of the money that we need to run all 12 of the camps. But there's still time to donate to help 300 children in the Sahel learn how to read!

Girls reading
Girls reading
Anti-Mosquito Cream with Neem Leaves
Anti-Mosquito Cream with Neem Leaves

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