Dec 16, 2016

FAVL awaiting further funding before book buying

Reading camp in Sebba village, October, 2016
Reading camp in Sebba village, October, 2016

Greetings donors and friends,

Not much to report over past few weeks, since we are waiting for further donations before making another book purchase.  Meanwhile, here is the update about FAVL activities of 2016 from our latest newsletter.

In Burkina Faso:

  • 20 new libraries in the provinces of Bam and Sanmatenga were opened in the beginning of 2016 as part of a large $450,000 grant from USDA/Catholic Relief Services Beoog Biiga II project.   A 21st  library opened in the town of Sebba near the border with Niger.  The marginalized populations of the Sahel, where life is made increasingly precarious by insecurity and climate change, are very much in need of more investments in education.  
  • A first annual conference was held in Ouagadougou, with 29 librarians from around the country attending.  
  • Four new books were developed, printed and distributed, thanks especially to the efforts of a volunteer university student from U.C. Berkeley.
  • Summer reading camps were held in 22 libraries.  These are amazing opportunities for 4th graders to improve their reading skills and start using their village library.
  • The staff is working with two libraries (Boni and Ouargaye) that were closed during the political upheavals of 2014 and 2015, and they should reopen soon.

In Ghana:

  • After-school reading programs were organized in all three libraries.
  • 300 books, primarily African novels, Ghanaian children’s books, and some school books, were purchased in Accra, to replenish some of the now very old book collections.
  • Coordinator Paul Ayutoliya continues to meet with officials to secure more local support for the libraries.

In Uganda:

  • The Uganda Community Libraries Association (UgCLA) held its sixth annual conference in January 2016. The conference was hosted by one of the Association's member libraries, that of Uganda Development Services (UDS) in the eastern town of Kamuli. More than 40 people attended, including representatives of 21 libraries.
  • Kitengesa Library has hosted visits from classes in local schools.  Hundreds of students had the chance to spend class time reading books.

In the United States:

  • FAVL has received great service from two Santa Clara University student interns in 2016. Maria leveraged her French skills to produce four posters about reading that are now on the walls of many of the libraries.  Bethany has been keeping our Quickbooks accounting system up to date.  They have both also done a lot of blog post formatting, editing, book production, and all the office tasks that keep us humming.  We are really grateful for these contributions.


Dec 14, 2016

Update: $200 of books purchased September 2016

books purchased for libraries
books purchased for libraries

Just yesterday we submitted a report on the GlobalGiving project, and in checking the accounts we realized that we *did* purchase $200 worth of children's books for distribution to libraries.  The purchase was mentioned in a FAVL blog post:

These books will be distributed later this week, since we are planning another $200 purchase tomorrow, and so early next week we will update.  As the photo below makes clear, there is a range of children's books published in West Africa available in the two main bookstores of Ouagadougou, Librarie de la Jeuness and L'Harmattan.  Included in the books purchased are picture books and also young adult short novels.

Sep 15, 2016

Smartphone training sessions in Koumbia library


Greetings, supporters of FAVL's activities in Burkina Faso! Our girls' computer literacy and leadership program, hosted at FAVL's Houndé Multimedia Center, remains open and active. We have received $2905 (slightly over half our project goal of $5500) from generous supporters like you.

We were fortunate this summer to have an undergraduate from U.C. Berkeley (Matthew) volunteer in Burkina Faso to help with our Hounde multimedia center.  Matthew trained one of our new FAVL staff members, Fankani, in using the computers to create books, using Microsoft Publisher. 

Matthew also worked with Fankani to organize three smartphone training sessions for young people in Koumbia village.  The sessions were held in the Koumbia library, using six smartphones that the library owns.  The sessions were mixed gender, including six young men and six young women.  The youth learned how to use a browser to do Internet research,  how to set-up and manage a Facebook account, and how to communicate with others through texting.  The goal was to develop some information literacy skills.

Since Matthew was a volunteer, the costs of the sessions were minimal (transport, pens and paper for participants, snacks, and mobile phone credits for connecting to the Internet), and we have allocated $100 from the project fund for these sessions.  We had earlier allocted $250 for the first workshop held in August 2015.  We thus have sufficient funds in the project budget to organize a more intensive workshop and purchase a couple of computers, but we are still in the process of recruiting a manager for the Hounde Multimedia Center (no candidate so far has had the needed computer skills).  As soon as we hire a manager, we will organize some workshop sessions and purchase the computers.

We thank you for helping bring information literacy to remote rural villages in Burkina Faso, and would greatly appreciate your continued financial support. Our ongoing literacy-building activities continue in Tuy province and updates are regularly posted on the FAVL blog.


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