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 $2800 (slightly over half our project goal of $5500) from generous supporters like you.
The past few months have been extraordinarily busy for FAVL-Burkina Faso: our library network has expanded by 21 sites for a total of 34 libraries, which is more than double our historical size! We embarked on a four-year project to establish and support 20 libraries in two northern provinces of Bam and Sanmatenga. Most of the “FAVL time” of West Africa director (and Santa Clara University professor of economics) Michael Kevane has been spent helping the Ouagadougou office implement this large-scale project: negotiating long-term financial-support compacts with village councils, refurbishing village-donated buildings, ordering furniture, hiring and training librarians, and stocking books. Our efforts culminated with the February opening of the new libraries. Private donors supported the establishment of yet another new library in Sebba, Yagha province, in the northeast corner of the country near the Niger border, which opened in late February. We are happy to say things are progressing well. Just this past month we provided ongoing training for our new librarians.
As you may know, in July 2015 FAVL held its first, very successful computer literacy and training workshop for girls to write and illustrate their own books. We had planned to conduct a second workshop at the end of January 2016, as Michael discussed in his last progress report. However, we were forced by the library network expansion and staffing changes at FAVL's Ouagadougou headquarters to push back our timeline by a few months. As the FAVL-Burkina team settles down into a more regular routine of managing 34 libraries, we anticipate hiring a director of the Houndé Multimedia Center by the end of April. The new director's responsibilities will include recruiting young women for the second workshop, which we anticipate holding at the end of May. We expect to hold monthly training sessions for groups of six to ten young women until our GlobalGiving project funds are exhausted.
We thank you for helping bring literacy to remote rural villages in Burkina Faso, and would greatly appreciate your continued financial support. Upon completion of the second workshop, we will update the FAVL blog with photos of the new, locally-authored books produced by our young female authors. In the meantime, our ongoing literacy-building activities continue in Tuy province and updates are regularly posted on the FAVL blog.
Greetings supporters of FAVL activities in Burkina Faso. This project is still open, and we have received about $2500 out of the $5500 goal. We conducted one successful workshop in July 2015. Our second workshop is planned for late January 2016. We will update with photos immediately afterwards. Our activities in Tuy province continue and updates are available on the FAVL blog.
This year 2015 has been extraordinarily busy for FAVL. In Burkina Faso, we embarked on a four year project to establish and support 20 libraries in two northern provinces. Most of the “FAVL time” of West Africa director Michael Kevane has been spent on helping the Ouagadougou office implement this project (as you may know he also has a full-time job as a university professor of Economics). We are happy to say thing are progressing well. Just this week we have done the training for 17 of the new librarians. Each commune has donated a building, which has been refurbished. Books and furniture have been ordered and delivered. We will be opening the libraries in early January 2016. Private donors have also supported another library in Sebba, so soon there will be 21 new libraries supported by FAVL in Burkina Faso.
In Uganda, likewise, FAVL East Africa director Kate Parry has been busy (on top of her job as university professor of English). The Kitengesa Library Band (!) has already given several public performances, following generous donations of recordings of traditional Ugandan music and also of musical instruments. Kitengesa Community Library has submitted a proposal to the Yunus Social Business Foundation (created by Nobel Prize winner Mohammed Yunus) for building a guest house that would host volunteers and interns as well as researchers and tourists. This initiative would help raise revenues for the library. The Uganda Community Library Association, which FAVL supports, is preparing its upcoming annual conference in January. Interns from Douglas College in British Colombia this summer toured many UgCLA member libraries and posted descriptions to the UgCLA Facebook page. Do visit and “like” them!
FAVL held the first workshop for this project, hosting six youn women from the village of Dimikuy to spend one week on Houndé. The young women had been participating in a health reading club using smartphones (supported by EIFL), and we wanted to giv ethem an opportunity to advance their computer skills. So they worked with a graphic designer from Ouagadougou, Michel Gama. The training was very practical: the idea was for the young women to work on making small health booklets that would then be printed and distributed to the libraries.
Here is a summary of the workshop in French by FAVL volunteer Alyssa Miawotoe:
Tuesday morning at around 10:30 five EIFL girls arrived from Dimikuy with Salimata. Michel Gama arrived around 2pm so we had some time with the girls. Clara and I spent that time teaching the girls how to use a mouse and keyboard, then the basics of Microsoft Word. We then went to lunch at the Auberge and Michel Gama met us at the Centre Multimedia afterwards. For the training, Gama used his own laptop as well as the computer Clara normally worked at. He also brought the corrected texts from Ouaga with him. Clara sat next to me while the girls were there and we worked on putting the text on Publisher and correcting the books. Since we didn’t have the scanner we couldn’t put the drawings on to Publisher with the text, but Gama helped us with that since his phone had a scanner on it. The images came out well and we used them on the books. The girls were in the Centre every day from 8am to 5pm, and we all went to get lunch at the Auberge each day at around 1pm. Michel Gama spent the first afternoon (Tuesday) with the girls showing them how to turn off and on a computer properly, use Microsoft Word, and get them more accustomed to typing. On Wednesday he went over Word with them again, and showed them Publisher, transferring files via a USB key, as well as saving files and creating folders. There were 3 girls working at his laptop and 2 girls plus Salimata working on the other computer in the center.
Michel Gama, Salimata, and the EIFL girls worked very well together. Whenever the girls had a question, they weren’t shy to ask each other, Salimata, or Gama. Gama made them feel comfortable and related the computer to familiar items. For example when showing them how to make a new folder and explaining the importance of keeping files organized, he used the example of a bedroom and how you know where things are in your room because you put them in a place where they can be easily located; it should be the same with computers, you should know where you put a file and where it should be placed for easy finding. He also told them that they need to hold the mouse like they hold a pen or pencil and they shouldn’t be afraid of it.
On Thursday Gama showed them how to put/ copy-paste images on Publisher and how to format each page. He used some of the drawings he made that were already on his computer. That afternoon we switched on the modem from Dimikuy for internet connection and the girls used the EIFL smartphones to access Facebook and post the pictures they had taken of their training. On Friday there was a power cut for most of the morning, but we hadn’t planned on doing much with the computers. When Clara and I arrived at the Centre I spent around 30 minutes talking to the girls, asking them more specific questions about the project. Gama the did some drawings with the girls. Each of us (the EIFL girls, Salimata, Clara, Michel Gama, and I) made one drawing for each page of a book that he wrote. His book was called “La Journée Scolaire” and it was about a young girl going through a typical school day. He scanned the drawings with his phone and I put the book together on Publisher later that day. We ate lunch with all of them before Salimata and the girls left, and after lunch the printer cartridge arrived. Gama returned to Ouaga that afternoon.
Here is a summary of the workshop in French by FAVL regional animator Alidou Boué:
L'association amis des bibliothèques de villages africain (FAVL) a organisé du 28 au 31 juillet dernier, un atelier de formation de six filles en l'informatique. C'est le centre multimedia de HOUNDE qui a accueilli ces jeunes filles venues du village de DIMIKUY dans la province du TUY. L'objectif était de leurs initier aux outils informatique, aux dessins et les processus de création d'un livre. Durant quatre jours elles ont reçu plusieurs modules notamment comment démarrage un ordinateur, la saisie dans Word, le montage en Publisher et comment illustrer les dessins . Les exercices de raccourcis du clavier (copier-coller, couper-coller, enregistrer, annuler et imprimer) leurs ont été bien appris. Ce fut l'occasion pour les participantes d'apprendre comment faire les dessins d'un livre a partir d'une histoire. Très satisfait a la fin, elles ont beaucoup salué l'initiative et souhaitent que de telles actions se multiplient pour une meilleur maitrise de ces outils
Dear FAVL supporters,
FAVL’s multi-media center in Houndé, Burkina Faso, produces inexpensive, high-quality, culturally relevant books that are written and illustrated by local authors, storytellers, illustrators and photographers. To date, you and other generous GlobalGiving donors have contributed $2575 (roughly 45 percent of our funding needs) for the Girls’ Computer Literacy and Leadership Project, which provides local high school girls the opportunity to augment their computer literacy skills as well as technical research, writing, drawing and photography skills, as they produce and publish their own books. Our project’s goals also include building these young women’s self-confidence to help them in their future professional careers. We need to raise at least another $2,000 to be able to purchase the computers, benches and work tables necessary for implementing the computer-skills aspect of the project with area young women.
In the meantime, we are still utilizing the resources of the Houndé center, in cooperation with the local FAVL team and local authors, to produce timely and relevant books for the community. La Grève des Bozo is the most recently published of the center's locally produced book. In the fall, we published an important Ebola information pamphlet, Parlons du virus l'Ebola, to provide critical health information to our library patrons and the girls participating in our health literacy reading clubs.
We are also progressing on a complementary girl-focused literacy project. Our pilot girls’ health literacy reading club project, funded by EIFL, allowed five FAVL libraries to purchase six smartphones apiece for a health literacy-focused reading club of ten young women in each library. The project is flourishing. The participants meet regularly to discuss vital health information, including malaria prevention, reducing infectious disease transmission, and family planning. Participants are writing and illustrating their own books, on a health topic of their choosing, which FAVL will publish at the Houndé center to distribute to our member libraries as well as the wider community.
We are grateful for your past support of and faith in FAVL's Girls' Computer Literacy and Leadership Project. We respectfully ask for your continued financial support so can really get the computer-skills aspect of the program rolling at the Houndé multimedia center!
FAVL’s multi-media center in Houndé, Burkina Faso, prints inexpensive, culturally relevant books that are written and illustrated by local authors, storytellers, illustrators and photographers. To date, generous GlobalGiving donors have raised $2125 (about 40 percent of our goal) for the Girls’ Computer Literacy and Leadership Project, which will provide local high school girls the opportunity to augment their computer literacy skills as well as technical research, writing, drawing and photography skills, as they produce and print their own books. Our project’s goals include building these young women’s self-confidence to help them in their future job searches and careers. Once we are able to buy the 5 computers, benches and work tables necessary for implementing the project, we can really get the program rolling at the Houndé multimedia center.
In the meantime, we are utilizing the resources of the Houndé center to produce a timely Ebola information pamphlet called Parlons du virus l'Ebola that our team adapted from WHO information bulletins. With the Ebola virus in nearby Sierra Leone, it is only a matter of time before someone unwittingly introduces the disease to Burkina Faso. Residents of villages with FAVL libraries will be equipped with the information they need to stay healthy.
We are also progressing on a complementary girl-focused literacy project. Our pilot girls’ health literacy reading club project, funded by EIFL, allows five FAVL libraries to purchase and use six smartphones in each library for a health literacy-focused reading club of ten young women. The participants will meet to discuss vital health information, including malaria prevention and family planning.
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