In the past year 2020, FAVL received just over $500 in donations for this project. Most of the funds were received in the last month of December. We thank the many donors!
We are planning then to use these funds to purchase a large selection of books for the mobile library in January. In our next report, we will have photos of the receipts and distribution of the books. Something to look forward to!
On regular library activities, the FAVL blog has been filled in recent months with news of activities from various libraries and programs since October when activities resumed after the end of the Covid19 lockdowns and restrictions. The mobile library in Houndé has been active, delivering reading materials to kids in schools. Librarians in the Tuy region have resumed monthly gatherings. The FAVL representative in Burkina Faso, Sanou Dounko, regularly visits libraries. In October, he held a meeting with several mayors to coordinate efforts to ensure that librarians are hired as “municipal” employees. He met with librarians in three regional meetings in early December. Over in Ghana, CESRUD library coordinator Paul Ayutoliya has overseen the re-roofing and refurbishment of Gowrie-Kunkua library, as the roof blew off in a violent rainstorm in May. The Sumbrungu and Sherigu libraries have been very busy since they reopened. FAVL has also been committing funding to modest renewal of book collections, and locally in Burkina Faso the Ministry of Culture as well as the U.S. Embassy have been supporting the libraries. More news is available on the blog.
The mobile library
Young students drawing during mobile library visit
Under a fine rain in Ouagadougou, the national representative of FAVL-BF visited the Harmattan Burkina bookstore on September 7, 2020. Being a regular at bookstores in Ouagadougou in search of new Burkinabè novels, his visit allowed him to discover on the shelves the last two issues N° 15 and N ° 6 of the Kouka comic book series. A cartoon well appreciated by children and even adults. In his search through the bookstore, he became very interested in a book entitled: "The role of reading in education." This book will allow the each librarian to reinforce her knowledge about the importance of reading. Today’s visit consisted of the purchase of around thirty books for children and adults for the Humanitas library in Bobo-Dioulasso and other libraries.
Libraries and most other public activities in Burkina Faso were closed due to COVID19, in late March 2020. The government in July decided to start reopening, and the office of the mayor of Houndé decided to permit activities to resume. Officially, the pandemic has largely spared Burkina Faso, with only a few thousand cases, total, as of late July. It is impossible to know at present how accurate the official case tallies are.
FAVL-Burkina Faso, in consultation with local authorities, decided to reopen activities in mid-July. Schools remains closed until October.
Two workshop and refresher trainings were held for librarians in northern Burkina Faso, in Kaya and Kongoussi, in mid-July. FAVL staff have visited many of the libraries in Tuy province (libraries in the north and near international borders are threatened by an insurgency and travel is not advisable). Librarians are enthusiastic about opening and patrons have already started to come to borrow books.
Thanks for your support for libraries over the years! In coming months we will use available funds to purchase books to distribute to libraries.
Thanks for your support of this project over the past months. As you might imagine, the COVID-19 virus has been put a hold on most library activities. Libraries in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda have been closed following recommendations of local authorities. One of the last activities done in Burkina Faso was to create a book about COVID-19 and how to prevent the spread of the virus. The book was distributed to the last visit to villages in Tuy province mid-March. Instead of reporting on recent activities, then we have a selection of photos from the last month (February) when libraries were open. We are looking forward to eventual re-opening of libraries as soon as prudent.
Attached are photos from most recent book purchase (November 2019), for the library in Niankorodougou, in southwestern Burkina Faso. The library is well-supported by the office of the mayor and rural council.
Some brief updates about other library support: The Kitengesa library in Uganda continues to thrive. This year a health reading camp was held for adult women, focusing on women’s cancer. Another reading camp was held for teenagers, and a further women’s reading camp is planned for later in the year. The Kitengesa Library Band continues to practice and perform.
In Burkina Faso, we are currently supporting 34 community libraries. Terrorist activity in northern Burkina Faso unfortunately has meant that four libraries are temporarily closed due to danger (schools and administrative buildings are targets.) For the libraries that are open, we continue to do the best we can to provide regular assistance to mayors and rural councils in managing the libraries, supply select libraries with new books, train librarians, and offer salary support for some of the librarians. Our Burkina team continues to produce photos books for young readers as well as books written by young people and illustrated with local illustrators.
In Ghana, our able partner organization CESRUD and the library coordinator continue to manage the three libraries of Sumbrungu, Gowrie-Kunkua, and Sherigu. These libraries regularly receive 30 or more visits a day- about 1,000 visits each month. They are open for night reading, as they are now connected to electricity. Donors this year helped fix the fans (it gets to 110 degrees during the day!). After school reading programs were held in September and are planned for this summer. All three libraries received several hundred new books over the course of the year thanks to support from Biblionef Ghana and the Ghana Book Trust.
Updates and lots of photos from all three countries are regularly posted to the FAVL blog.
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