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Transport Books through Rural Africa on Motorbike

by Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL)
Transport Books through Rural Africa on Motorbike
Transport Books through Rural Africa on Motorbike
Transport Books through Rural Africa on Motorbike
Transport Books through Rural Africa on Motorbike
Mobile library garaged in Kaya
Mobile library garaged in Kaya

The mobile library has been unable to function for the past two months (may and June) due to a big increase in terrorist activity in the region. the mobile librarian is from Pissila, a village about 15 km from Kaya, and the village has seen several attacks. So the librarian has been unable to safely come to Kaya to work with the library. The FAVL team is in Kaya this week (June 24-26) planning for perhaps moving the mobile library to southwestern Burkina Faso.  We will keep donors to this project informed!

In other FAVL news:

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 continue to support 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. We completed 22 summer reading camps last summer 2018, serving more than 550 4th and 5th graders. The 25 kids selected for each camp got a big injection of age-appropriate books, learned many new games, discussed hygiene tips, and made masks and comic books. We hope that many of them will become life-long readers.

In Ghana, our able partner organization CESRUD and its library coordinatorcontinue to manage the three libraries of Sumbrungu, Gowrie-Kunkua, and Sherigu. These libraries regularly receive 30+ visits a day. 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.

Updates and lots of photos from all three countries are regularly posted to the FAVL blog.

Mobile library waiting new assignment!
Mobile library waiting new assignment!
BMP in action in April 2019
BMP in action in April 2019
BMP in action in April 2019 v2
BMP in action in April 2019 v2
With book in front of BMP
With book in front of BMP

The mobile library continues to visit schools in the town of Kaya three times a week.

Here is a translation of the short report by Ouédraogo Bernard, the BMP operator (and also librarian of Pissila), for his recent outing:

Activity report of the mobile library of 27 March 2019 at the communal school C. On March 27, 2019, the BMP was at the Communal school C at 9:20 am. About thirty students participated in the activities of the day. Among the activities carried out was individual reading which always the flagship activity because the principal objective of the mobile library is to give had time to read the book that pleased him or herself. We then read together Fatou Keita's Le boubou du Père Noël. In addition, we organized a game of hopscotch. This part also pleased children. They found this hopscotch more useful because in addition to distraction there is instruction in counting and basic arithmetic. In addition, the children were interested in the puzzles that are part of their favorite games. Overall, can say that the output went very well, and ended around noon.

FAVL continues to support 34 libraries in Burkina Faso, 3 in northern Ghana, and the Kitengesa Community Library in Uganda.

Individual reading
Individual reading
Hopscotch - marelle
Hopscotch - marelle
Puzzles and Fatou Keita Pere Noel
Puzzles and Fatou Keita Pere Noel

Links:

Students reading by mobile library
Students reading by mobile library

The mobile library (Bibliothèque Mobile Pénélope, or BMP) started operating about one year ago, and regularly visits schools and public places in the town of Kaya. A typical outing lasts about 2 hours and involves 20-30 young readers. Mats are spread on the ground, kids have access to books to read, and the librarian organizes games.

The ongoing costs for the library are fairly modest: the librarian (also half time librarian in neighboring village of Pissila) receives a stipend of $8 (4,000 FCFA) per outing, that covers the cost of his transport to Kaya and return, and his time during the activity of the day. (Note, after subtracting his costs and the time, this is about $10 per day, for an equivalent annual salary of about $3,000, so it is very modest). The motorcycle library also needs regular maintenance, oil changes, gas, and we pay a small hotel 7500 CFA a month for parking the library in the hotel courtyard that has a security guard.

The FAVL team in Burkina Faso is working on more formal outreach to schools and the mayor's office to develop greater local support for the mobile library.

Access to quality books is limited
Access to quality books is limited
Graphic novels (BD) are favorites
Graphic novels (BD) are favorites
The BMP librarian also organizes games
The BMP librarian also organizes games
The mobile library needs regular maintenance
The mobile library needs regular maintenance
Puzzles are much appreciated
Puzzles are much appreciated

The mobile library project continues to operate normally.  Here are the most recent (translated) reports from Ouedrogo Bernard, the BMP operator (and librarian of Pissila library).

Friday, November 16, 2018, before 13h, I arrived at the school Center A with the BMP. I found that almost all CM2 grade students were still there. There were also some CEs. Those in CM2 were shy and stressed because they said they had a history and geography assignment in the same evening at 3pm. With that, I proposed to change site to allow them to work; but they together disapproved of my proposal. That's when I put the books at their disposal. We organized free and guided reading. At the end of the reading, I asked each student to give the title and author of her favorite book. This exercise revealed that the majority of students do not consider the title and the author in their reading. So, I said that to make a good reading, you have to start with the title without forgetting the author. The children enjoyed this exercise very much. By the way, we played the puzzle. We played those whose pieces were animals. It was necessary to mention the names of the animals which constituted the different pieces. This game was very beneficial for the students because they discovered the name of an insect that is the ladybug. In addition to the puzzle game, I improvised a coloring session with elementary students. The exit was as a whole well finished around 15h minus. Students want to receive BMP in their school every day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018, arriving at the office at 10am, I went to get the BMP to the Niwaogo hostel where it is parked for security reasons. I noticed that it was covered with dust and I washed it myself in the office. I also cleaned the shelves. After that, I made an outing to the communal school A. About 12h, I was on the spot. The students were eating (about twenty students). They gave up their food and ran to the BMP, which is very well known throughout the neighborhood. After having everything installed, I invited them to read. Everyone chose their favorite book and started reading by asking questions about words they did not understand. We played a game about naming. The game is organized together on the parts of the body. In addition to the game on the human body, the students offered to play a letter game. This game was organized with great enthusiasm. The women who sold at the small market of the said school were interested in the reading and the games and saw to have more information on the BMP. They very much appreciated the initiative. Around 14h 30 minutes the students became more numerous which forced me to pack up to avoid the big disorder or the theft of books by the children.

The BMP visits three schools each week.

Coloring is a favorite activity
Coloring is a favorite activity
Schoolchildren find all sorts of books to read
Schoolchildren find all sorts of books to read
Kids look forward to the mobile library visits
Kids look forward to the mobile library visits
Another puzzle: they help with learning vocabulary
Another puzzle: they help with learning vocabulary
Students looking for interesting books
Students looking for interesting books

The mobile library project is launched and working. The project target of $6500 was almost reached thanks to a generous donor at the end of 2017 and many other donors who have contributed over the years!  In January 2018 books were purchased for the tricycle, with a large selection of children's books, mostly fiction but we are also looking hard for children's non-fiction. In February 2018 the team solicited quotes for purchasing a tricycle motorbike, and a vendor was selected in March 2018 and the motorbike purchased. A local metalworker then built the "kiosk" that goes on the back of the bike. A carepenter built some shelves, and large woven mats were purchased (for kids to sit on while reading). A local graphic artist then painted the kiosk and bike in a vibrant yellow, with some pictures of children reading on it.

The motorbike went out to Kaya town (one hour north of Ouagadougou), in April 2018, and did some test runs. The librarian of Pissila expressed interest in being the mobile librarian. he took a driver's education course, and in May received his official drivers license to drive the motorbike. The final papers for the motorbike purchase also were received and it passed its inspection procedures (yes, a lot of bureaucracy, but that is good, in the end!). 

In June and July during summer vacation the motobike has begun to visit various locations in Kaya. At the beginning of the school year in October the motorbike will have a regular run of schools that will be visited once a week.  Thanks to all the donors for making this experiment a reality! 

Schoolchildren gather around the mobile library
Schoolchildren gather around the mobile library
Kaya education leaders learn about mobile library
Kaya education leaders learn about mobile library
Mobile library visits mayor
Mobile library visits mayor's offices
Mobile library visits a school
Mobile library visits a school
A school visit
A school visit
 

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Organization Information

Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL)

Location: San Jose, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @FAVLafrica
Project Leader:
Krystle Austin
San Jose, CA United States
$6,100 raised of $6,500 goal
 
67 donations
$400 to go
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