The Houndé mobile library operated well during the period June-July_august, despite the security situation in Burkina Faso that continues to deteriorate. Over the past year villages in the area have been attacked. The gendarmerie of Houndé, where the mobile library is located, was attacked. This high insecurity makes it hard for FAVL and partner personnel to carry out activities. Moreover, the military government, which took power in a coup d'état in January 2022, suspended local civilian leadership, replacing it with military appointed local leadership. These leaders have little legitimacy and authority, and are unable to act as good partners. So progress has slowed. We continue to regularly reach out to local partners, both informally and in government, to try to assess when we might be able to make more progress.
We are happy, however, that the mobile library continued to operate, visiting schools most afternoons, and frequelty having 20-30 schoolchildren come for a couple of hours of reading, puzzle-solving, drawing, and other activities. We thank you for your support!
The "animator" of the mobile library in Houndé departed his position at the end of December 2021, and FAVL in Burkina Faso has yet to recruit a replacement animator to recommence operations. Meanwhile, in January 2022 a coup d'etat suspended all local elected government (rural councils and mayors) and only in March were replacement local government officials announced. We hope to be able to resume operations in April or May 2022. The mobile library was regularly visiting several schools in Houndé in the hours after school, providing reading opportunities with a collection of several hundred children's books, and also puzzles and drawing materials.
Every week we receive reports from the mobile library animator. here is an example of his report, translated from French, for mid-December.
During the period from 08 to 15 December 2021, the animator of the Pénélope mobile library made outings to primary schools in the municipality of Houndé namely: school A, school B, school C, l D school and Lokihoun school with the Pénélope mobile library. During these outings several activities were carried out such as guided reading, puzzle games, riddles, word games and awareness raising on the importance of reading. He notes a participation of about 234 readers. These outings allowed the students to have a taste for reading, to gather knowledge through reading and distraction through games. So what is important is the participation of parents of students and teachers for encouragement and words of support.
The mobile library (Bibliothèque Mobile Pénélope, BMP) has begun operations again in August 2021, with visits to schools in Houndé town. The team also met with school directors and town authorities. School session starts in October, so for now the visits are informal. The plan is that in October each of the 7 schools will have a “reading club” of 20 students, who will commit to participating after school for a reading session. The team in Houndé is also preparing printing of about 20 new titles of local books produced by the Houndé multimedia center team. In the coming month the BMP will also be replenished with puzzles and illustrated French children’s books.
The mobile library in Houndé, Burkina Faso, known locally to the FAVL team as the BMP (Bibliothèque Mobile Penelope) has been on hiatus while the newly hired librarian obtains an official drivers license. The mobile library is built out of a "tricycle" (a large motorcycle with attached small library), and driving it is quite difficult, and all drivers must be licensed. (There are many accidents for these vehicles by young male drivers!). While we await his license (a process that takes several months as he must attend driver education classes, we are replenishing the inventory of books and games of the mobile library. We expect it to be ready to go in July.
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