New library in Ouargaye, Burkina Faso

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Emily Howe Wilson, a librarian from Wisconsin,  wanted to do something special to honor her mother, who had recently passed away, and give back to Burkina Faso, where her son had spent time as a Peace Corps volunteer.  When Emily visited Burkina some years ago, she had struck up a friendship with a nature guide from the village of Ouargaye, in eastern central Burkina Faso. She thought a library would be a perfect gift for the village.  So, in 2011, she approached FAVL about helping her to make it happen. The FAVL team decided that it would try a different model for this library project, taking a backseat role and letting the community take the reins.  The FAVL Burkina team worked with the mayor of the village to decide how best to approach the project. Slowly, things began coming together. The building for the library was renovated. Chairs, tables and plaques were ordered. A library committee was formed.

This past October, a librarian was recruited and sent to a two-week long training with FAVL Activities Coordinator, Alidou Boue in the village of Dohoun. The librarian, Johanni Zombre, learned about FAVL's organization and his responsibilities as manager of the library. The training was both theoretical and practical, with sessions on the hierarchy of FAVL and how to keep a good account book as well as working with Alidou to organize and run an activity for kids at the library. At the end of the two weeks, Johanni returned to Ouargaye, armed with information and ready for the library opening. Books were purchased locally to supplement the donations that were sent from the United States. The library will be opening in early December 2012.  Emily is scheduled to visit in January.  We're sure there will be lots more dancing!


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Books, reading, and libraries relevant to Africa by Michael Kevane, co-Director of FAVL and economist at Santa Clara University.

Other contributors include Kate Parry, FAVL-East Africa director, Peace Corps volunteer Emilie Crofton, Krystle Austin, Elisee Sare, and Monique Nadembega.

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