Bring 15 Fatou Keita Books to 23 Village Libraries

by Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL)
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.

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.


We have now received $210 out of the $750 program goal.  FAVL director Michael Kevane was visiting some of the libraries in Burkina Faso from Aug. 27-Sept 9.  He held meetings with all of the librarians.  The Fatou Keita books continue to be among the most popular books in the library.  One librarian mentioned Fatou Cache Ses Dents, a sweet story about a girl named Fatou who lost her front teeth and was embarrassed, but soon learned from her friends that losing her teeth was natural!

This week (Sept 13) the FAVL team in Ouagadougou will be purchasing $200 worth of children's books (including books by Fatou keita of course) for the libraries.  We will report on the distribution soon!

Boussouma library
Boussouma library
reading in kaya
reading in kaya


Young reader of Fatou Keita
Young reader of Fatou Keita

Dear FAVL supporters,

Thanks to the incredibly generous support of GlobalGiving donors like you, we announce that last month we met the original project goal of providing complete sets of the Fatou Keïta book series to our original thirteen village libraries in Burkina Faso! Thank you so much for helping make our vision of providing culturally relevant books to our young FAVL patrons a reality.  As you can see from the photos below, the books are hugely popular with our readers.

I am pleased to report that the project remains open.  Indeed, we have expanded our goal to provide a complete series of Fatou Keïta books to ten of FAVL's new libraries in the northern Burkina provinces of Bam and Sanmatenga! FAVL is fortunate to have already received $160 out of the additional $750 needed to purchase these new books. 

I thank you again for your generous support of literacy and reading in West Africa. FAVL relies on the continued support of kind donors like you.

Child reads Fatou Keita in FAVL library
Child reads Fatou Keita in FAVL library
Smiling reader of Fatou Keita, Feb 2016
Smiling reader of Fatou Keita, Feb 2016
Reading Fatou Keita outside FAVL library
Reading Fatou Keita outside FAVL library


Greetings supporters of FAVL activities in Burkina Faso.  This project is still open, and thanks to your support we reached the fundraising goal.  Our team went to the two bookstores in Ouagadougou to purchase Fatou Keita books, but unfortunately the bookstores did not have much in stock. So the bookstore L'Harmattan Burkina has ordered more, and as soon as the books arrive they will be purchased and distributed to libraries.  We hope to report, with pictures, in late January or February 2016.

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!


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Organization Information

Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL)

Location: San Jose, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Michael Kevane
Co-director, West Africa
San Jose, CA United States

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