Thanks to generous donors who keep giving to the Motorbike Mobile Library project, we're getting closer to our goal. FAVL's Motorbike Library will be the first of it's kind in Burkina Faso, a country with one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. The goal of the project is to provide access to books in hard-to-reach rural villages in the southwest. Many of these villages are hard to get to due to pot-holed, unpaved roads. While they may have primary schools and middle schools, the classrooms are overcrowded and the stock of schoolbooks is limited. Access to other reading materials to supplement lessons is out of the question. Novels and picture books are expensive, often out of the price range for the average family, and are only available in larger urban centers. While FAVL has established and continues to support village libraries in the area, not everyone can easily reach them. The motorbike library would supply 400 adult and children's books to 12 rural communities in 3 zones. People would be able to lend books from the mobile library for two weeks, at which time the coordinator/driver would return to allow them to take new books. While in the communities, the coordinator/driver will also perform local folktales and other stories to encourage people to take advantage of the library. The cart carrying the books on the back of the moto will be covered to protect the books from dust and rain. We know that community members will enjoy finally having access to novels by African authors, picture books and farming and hygiene guides in local languages, and it's thanks to many wonderful donors that this project will become a reality.
Donations for the Girls' Computer Literacy and Leadership Program are going strong. Thanks to generous donors we're getting closer to our goal of helping 50 high school girls learn computer literacy and in the process obtain valuable leadership and life skills like self-confidence.
At the moment, there is little access to computers in Hounde, and no computer training available for local high school students. However, technical skills are widely sought in larger cities as the world becomes more technologically literate and are important for students who wish to get ahead. Girls, in particular, have less opportunities to obtain computer skills and often lack the confidence to seek out these opportunities. Through the program, 10 local high school girls will be invited to attend five one-month long computer training workshops (for a total of 50 girls). They will learn basic computer literacy skills: how to use a mouse, type and use Microsoft Word, Publisher and Excel. They will use this knowledge to create their own poems, novels and illustrations in order to entertain, educate and empower other girls in their community. The books will be distributed to village libraries and will also be available for purchase.
Meeting with Fatou Keita at Annual Ouaga Book Fair
Generous donations here on GlobalGiving will allow us to purchase 70 Fatou Keïta books for 13 village libraries in Burkina Faso. That means that each library will get at least 5 new colorful and culturally relevant picture books. We will be purchasing the books locally and distributing them to the libraries in the coming weeks.
Books by Ivorian author, Fatou Keïta, are great for elementary school-aged children who live in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Each page features a few sentences of developmentally appropriate French as well as a large colorful image that goes along with it. The characters and situations are taken right from village life, so kids want to read more because they relate easily to the characters and situations. Seeing characters like them in books encourages kids to read more and developing important reading skills which are essential to academic success.
We're excited to purchase the 70 new Fatou Keïta books in the next couple of weeks and distribute them to village libraries here in Burkina. We know the kids are excited to read them and will be thrilled to see more copies of their favorite books at the community library.