Many books in FAVL's libraries are donations from foreign countries. While these books are important reading materials to for the communities, often they include themes that are not relevant to life in a rural African village. Patrons sometimes find them difficult to relate to and understand because they contain cultural elements and words that do not exist in Burkina Faso and Ghana. When reading materials closely relate to their lives, people are more likely to pursue their literacy skills.
We will provide relevant reading materials to libraries in 15 west African villages. "Aya de Yopougon" is a popular graphic novel series written by Marguerite Abouet, an Ivorian, and illustrated by Clement Oubrerie. The setting is Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire in the 1970s. Cote d'Ivoire is located in the same region as Burkina Faso and Ghana and has a very similar culture. Having "Aya" books available will allow kids to see their own culture in books, which is important in encouraging them to read.
This project enables FAVL to provide the "Aya de Yopougon" graphic novels to 15 village libraries in West Africa. Because the books reflect their own lives and culture and are in comic book form, kids will be encouraged to read more and more frequently visit their village library. Research shows that literacy skills improve with reading. With their increased reading fluency, kids will want to read other books and study more in school. Ultimately, this could help them stay in school longer.