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.