Recently in Africa Photo Books Category

Over the past months, our team in Burkina Faso, led by national director Sanou Dounko, have produced almost 20 new photo books.  These books are in French, and appeal to young readers in the villages.  You can get previews (and order some!) at

new fastpencil books july 2017.JPG

I am so proud of our team in Burkina Faso, especially Sanou Dounko, Guy Roland Hema and Alidou Boué, who have been creating photo books for printing and distribution to the Burkina Faso libraries.  Interns Beth Borowsky and Maria Haddad have also been a big help, and also FAVL board members Deb Garvey and Helène LaFrance.  Ten new books have already been published, and another 10 are in various stages of editing and should be printed by the end of June.  You can buy copies, too, at  But even better, send us a donation for $100 so we can buy 15 more copies to send to the libraries!


Sending books to Burkina Faso

| No Comments

Un livre sur la vie de Marie Curie

| No Comments
Hema Writes

Ecrite par Françoise Giroud, cette biographie nous éclaire un tant soit peu sur la vie « simple » de cette grande femme de génie du XX ème siècle. Un amour passionné pour la science et une volonté sans relâche de participer au progrès de l'humanité. Une femme qui a atteint les sommets, qui a été couronnée à deux reprises du prix Nobel de Physique et de Chimie mais une femme qui est restée égale à elle-même.  Marie Curie par ses travaux (découverte du radium) dont les applications thérapeutiques et médicales ont sauvé des vies, surtout pendant la première guerre mondiale restera pour les générations actuelles et futures un modèle de renoncement, de désintéressement et de dévouement profond pour le progrès scientifique. Elle repose actuellement au Panthéon auprès de son époux Pierre Curie et marquera à jamais l'humanité. 

Local history foto books...

| No Comments

Thanks to a generous grant from Rotary International, FAVL will be developing more local-oriented books that inspire people to read more and create more.  Our local partner Rotary Club in Burkina Faso is the Ouagadougou Savane club.

One of our first projects is  to soon publish a photo book using text and photos from Koura Bemave, a retired soldier in the village of Bereba (and our own FAVL representative Koura Donkoui's father!).  Bemave, now 81, was in the French Army in the 1950s and kept a wonderful small collection of photos from his years of service.  He has agreed to share these with the community of readers in the villages, and we will soon be printing copies for each of the libraries.  For now we thought we would share one the fotos, of Bemave in Mauritania sitting on top of a crate of mortar shells! 

Bemave jeune obus mortier.jpg

Yesterday Sunnyvale Rotarian Charlie Wasser sprung the good news on me!  Rotary international has approved our proposal to work with Rotary Club of Ouagadougou- Savane to establish a "media center" in the town of Houndé that will work with local village populations to produce microbooks in the region.  The grant is for $35,000 over five years.

The books will be about subjects of interest to village readers, be authored by people in the villagers, and be "produced" by the FAVL team in the region.  We are looking forward to producing microbooks of stories from the various ethnic groups in the region, village histories, family histories, school story contests, photography books of local festivals and important events, and basically anything that our team comes up with that will likely be of interest to readers!

Some examples of the photography books FAVL has been producing are here as our fastpencil website.  We are looking forward to starting to work on the project!  Thanks especially to Charlie Wasser and the whole Sunnyvale Rotary Club, and other district-level Rotarians who worked hard to make this happen!

New Book : Festival des Masques

| No Comments
Festival des Masque is an annual event of masks  in Burkina Faso. Scott Worthington who is Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso did a lot of great shots during the last edition of this popular event. Scot has contacted FAVL team to discuss the possibility of making a photos' book for libraries, with the pictures he has taken. And this is the result:

festival_des_masques_cover_front cover.jpg

New Book: Moringa!!

| No Comments
Elisée wrote:

This is FAVL new mico-book. The text and the photos are from Alison Wallace and Christopher Davis, two peace corps volunteer in Burkina Faso. This is a excellent book about the moringa, a multiple-purpose plant used in Burkina Faso. The book titled Làbàɲu is in bwamu language translated in french. Coming soon the moore-french and the jula-french versions. Here is some of the wonderful pictures from the book now available on fastpencil.



David Pace photo show in Burlingame, California

| No Comments
DavidPacePhoto.jpgPhotographer David Pace has spent a lot of time in Bereba village in Burkina Faso, and knows the FAVL libraries in the region inside out.  He has a new series of "Friday night dance" fotos, and will have a show at the Mercy Center in Burlingame until the end of June. There will be a reception and talk on Saturday afternoon, 2-4pm, June 2. Be there!!!!

Translators without Borders

| No Comments
Although I feel like this article very much simplifies the reasons behind behavioral change to "something being lost in translation" when aid is only delivered in elite languages, it is definitely a very important consideration that if oftentimes not addressed in projects. A lot of people in villages here in Burkina don't understand French, and it's very important to spread messages of the importance of health care, education and development in both the official language of a country and it's many local languages. Thus, Translators Without Borders is taking on a very noble and difficult (tiny Burkina alone has over 65 different languages spoken within its borders) task. It's a task that FAVL also participate in, especially with our various photo books that are in French/Dioula and in Dioula. This helps spread literacy and important messages of education amongst even those who are not literate in French.    
« previous 1 2 3 4


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, FAVL Burkina Faso representative Koura Donkoui, FAVL Burkina Faso program manager Krystle Nanema, and FAVL friends Emilie Crofton and Elisee Sare.

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID