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Chalula Library in Tanzania

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There are a lot of ways to become a failure, but never taking a chance is the most successful. It was this reason that the Sherigu Community decided to take this chance and organize a quiz for students to see whether the struggle of FAVL/CESRUD in harvesting the reading culture in students/children would come through. It all came on the 7th of March 2012, where Dorongo and Sherigu Junior High schools battled against each other in Mathematics, Science, English Language, and General Knowledge. The function was attended not only by present students, but some parents, head-teachers, assembly persons, and retired educators.

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As mentioned, Dorongo Junior High School head teacher chaired the function and in fact the function was worth witnessing since the quiz was educational and life improving method. The librarian could not have expressed his feeling if he was asked to do so because of the presence of some personalities which overjoyed him, this he said was the concern presence of parents, who are not even educated but saw the need to witness how their wards were going to compete. He acknowledged their presence and made them to feel at home though they were not understanding what was said in the competition.

What was also amazing was the manner in which students answered questions posed to them. Though questions were of standard (not simple) students tackled them well that gave them marks. In fact, it should be added that the audience made the day well, since questions which could not be answered by the competitors were turned to them and answers flew from all corners.

It was just a ram to ram balled between both schools but as it out to have a winner and a loser at the end of the competition Dorongo Junior High carried the day with 38 points representing 55% performance which they took a wall clock as winner's award and Sherigu Junior High trailing with 33 points representing 45% performance which they had no award since there were only two schools and needed not to take second winner award but all contestants from both school had two pens each to their credit.

This librarian doubts not that the children will have a better academic future if programs like this are organized for them. At the end of the competition Mr. Simon Abanga, a leader of the Catholic community gave his word and assured students of his ready support if only they pass their examination and wanting to go to senior high schools. Honorable Dorongo electoral area also gave his word and assured the organizer his support to programs like this. A parent, Madam Elizabeth Adame, who came to witness, also advised student to take their studies seriously since they are blessed to be educated, and also lauded them for their performance.

The librarian at the end thanked the management committee, quiz masters, various headteachers as well as staff members and all who help in bringing through the quiz. He thanked the coordinator very much for approving it to him to carry out the competition organization. He assured student that, more programs would be organized for them and cold be extended to the senior high school lever. To the various personalities he thanked them for their time and wished them well in all they do. Not forgetting Brianna Osetinsky who came very early for the program but could not stay to the starting due to her slight illness but her camera was used to capture pictures to which could serve as reference. He said all gates are open to any idea of improving on children's reading culture in the library.

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Brianna writes:

I visited Burkina Faso last week. Although I was traveling from a fairly well developed African country to one of the poorest countries in the world, I was also traveling from a village to a country's capital city. While I was impressed with the water conservation efforts, even during dry season, I was most impressed with the quality of cheese on my pizza.

This trip began, as any visit to a foreign country really should, by emailing a friend who studied the official language for 12 years to inform her that within 24 hours I had mastered French. Monique, who knew my friend Louise well from having worked with her for FAVL's Reading West Africa Program, helped me to write perfect French to complete the ruse.

On Saturday, Monique, Lucas and I visited the Bougounam library. The library was impressively decorated. The walls covered in murals of village scenes and portraits of important people in Burkina painted by the librarian. The small library had two tables, one for adults and another for children. When we arrived at the library around 10 a.m., there were already a few people working at the tables. Throughout our visit, more people showed up. The books were very neatly organized. They were divided into sections for French, English and African literature as well as school and reference books and children's books. After touring the village and over a much appreciated cold drink, we discussed how the library has been running. The librarian's biggest concern was the lack of books by African authors, as the selection is very small despite their high demand. He also commented on children's need for puzzles and games, so they can use the library as a general learning center.

As we began to head back, Monique started talking to a man who was also visiting from Ouagadougou to report on the school opening in the area. We were invited to join the reception, where local and national dignitaries, including the educational director, local chief and patriarch celebrated the importance of making a solid investment in education. Monique was invited to speak about the role of the libraries and reading in improving education in Burkina Faso. My own speeches were thankfully limited to repeated thanks as we were leaving, since my French really consists of stammered greetings and Italian slurred into what I imagine to be a French accent. 

Sunday was also a special day. It was Lucas's birthday, which I found out by looking at his passport.  I was shocked that he hadn't mentioned it, since I start my birthday countdown a good month in advance. Lucas planned to head home on Sunday to be in the office on Monday, but before he left we insisted on celebrating. When Monique found out it was Lucas's birthday, she quickly took the lead. She and I hurried to pick up supplies. We found a cake shop, and the baker wrote "Joyeux Anniversaire Lucas" on the cake. We returned home with the cake, some Burkina beers, and big smiles - in other words the ingredients to a birthday party. With a candle in the cake, we walked in singing, to Lucas's surprise. He was excited to cut the cake and so impressed to find his name there. We toasted Lucas's birthday, and quickly reached our sugar quota from the cake's icing. All in all, it was a great celebration.

The next few days were a pleasant taste of life in Ouaga. I tried to keep up with some of my work and take advantage of the comparatively fast internet, but I also spent a lot of time just visiting the city. Krystle, FAVL's PCV, took me around to the Artisan Village, where I had to face the reality of being a volunteer instead of an independently wealthy patron of the arts. The artwork and craftsmanship was amazing, especially the bronze and wood sculptures. Later in the evening, I was joined by Melinda and Tim, two researchers from Johns Hopkins who were also staying at the guest house. Together we were able to explore some live music and meat vendors. Our best find was a percussion band of 3 drums and 2 xylophones accompanied by three dancers of dramatically varying abilities.

The trip was a very pleasant visit of a country that is really less than an hour away from where I am living, but still dramatically different in many respects. Besides the obvious difference in language and cuisine of a Francophone culture, there were also more subtle but broadly reflective differences, like the use of metal tables in Burkina instead of wood or plastic, materials that are much scarcer. Monique, Krystle and Salimata were such fantastic hosts, I was sad to say goodbye, but luckily Krystle will be coming to visit us in Sumbrungu and see how the health literacy classes are getting on. 

No matter how good a trip or vacation is, there is a sense of relief in coming home. And by home, I most definitely mean the Sumbrungu Women's Center where I have been staying. Upon coming to my town and my home, I was welcomed by my good friends, who I had missed while away. That is really the best ending to a trip anyone can have.



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Séance de sensibilisation des femmes de Sara
sur la fabrication du crème anti-moustique

Le jeudi 22 mars 2012 à la bibliothèque de Sara a eu lieu une séance de sensibilisation des femmes sur la fabrication du crème anti-moustique à base des feuilles de Nime. 12 femmes ont pris part à cette séance qui s'est déroulée de 15h30 à 17h20 au sein de la dite bibliothèque.

Après avoir souhaité la bienvenue à toutes, la gérante a expliqué ce que c'est le paludisme, le mode de transmission et comment il faut l'éviter.

Ensuite elle leur a montré comment elles peuvent l'éviter à moindre coût en utilisant le crème de Nime à partir des feuilles. Elle a fait un espacé sur la fabrication du crème puis suivi d'une expérience pratique faite ensemble. Elles ont fait bouillir des feuilles de Nime dans une marmite au feu pendant 20 minutes puis extraire les feuilles à l'aide d'un tamis. Après cette partie elles ont réchauffé l'eau recueilli puis ajouté du beurre de karité et du savon qu'elles ont cassé en petits morceaux mettre en remuant jusqu'à obtenir une patte légère qu'elles ont laissé refroidir pendant un bout de temps. Une répartition de ce crème obtenu a été faite et chacune a reçu un petit sachet bien rempli pour essayer à la maison. Il leurs a été dit que l'effet du crème ne dure que 3 heures de temps. Pour cela elles ont été conseillé d'utiliser le crème après avoir se lavé vers 18 heures le temps d'attendre de manger puis se coucher sous une moustiquaire. Les femmes se disent très satisfaites de cette séance qui leurs a permis de comprendre et d'être capables de fabriquer le crème. Désormais elles peuvent partager leurs acquis avec leurs camarades pour diminuer les cas de paludisme dans leurs familles. Elles ont remercié la gérante pour son apport à la population de Sara.

SANOU Dounko
Animateur de FAVL



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Day of Storytelling at Village Library in Dohoun

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Alidou writes:

La bibliothèque villageoise de Dohoun a organisé le jeudi 22 mars 2012 une journée d'animation de contes en langue nationale (Bwamu et Mooré). Cette journée d'animation a vu la participation de 150 élèves du primaire venus des deux écoles du dit village.

Débutée à 8h30mn par des chants et des sensibilisations sur l'entretien des livres et la fréquentation de la bibliothèque par le gérant Boué Alidou. Cette première animation du genre a été marqué par la venue des conteurs dynamiques venus du village à savoir Siéni Kekora, Siéni Tuendaba et Doh Ginko.
Huit contes ont été relatés parmi lesquels quatre ont émerveillé le public. Il s'agit de:
    -  L'histoire d'une belle fille ;
    - Le singe et la vieille femme ;
    - Le crapaud et la mouche ;
    - Le secret du marabout.

Les morales des contes ont été tiré, certains sont très éducatifs pour les enfants (le respect des personnes âgées). Il faut noter que pendant cette séance d'animation certains habitants du village sont venus assister de l'arrière de la clôture de la bibliothèque.

Les animateurs de FAVL  n'ont pas aussi été en reste. Dounko et Alidou ont apporté leurs expériences dans le domaine des contes et histoires drôles en français.

L'objectif qui était de satisfaire le public (élèves du primaire) par des contes en Bwamu, Mooré et Français a été atteint. Les élèves ont éprouvé un grand sentiment de joie et quelques uns d'entre eux ont fait des contes à leurs camarades avant la fin de la séance.

Cette journée d'animation de contes s'est terminée par des histoires drôles telles que : Un paysan était en fuite parce qu'il a été surpris d'assister à la mystérieuse scène de conversation avec les plantes de son champ.

[Thursday, March 22, 2012, the village library of Dohoun organized a day of stories in local language (Bwamu and Mooré). 150 primary school students from two schools in Dohoun participated in the event.

The event started at 8:30 a.m. with singing and information about how to take care of books well and the importance of coming to the library by the librarian Boué Alidou. The first animation of this kind was marked by the invitation of dynamic storytellers from the villages of Siéni Kekora, Siéni Tuendaba and Doh Ginko. Eight stories were told, four of which amazed the audience. They included :
-    The story of a beautiful girl ;
-     A monkey and an old woman ;
-    The toad and the fly ;
-    The secret of the marabou.

The stories' morals were understood by the audience, and certain stories were educational for kids (ex : respect for elders). It's important to note that during the storytime, some residents came to help with the closing of the library.

FAVL's activities coordinators did not rest either. Dounko and Alidou shared their expertise in storytelling with funny stories told in French. The goal to entertain the audience with stories in Bwamu, Mooré and French was met. The students expressed their appreciation for the activity and some of them shared stories with their friends before going home.

The day of stories ended with a funny story : a peasant was on the run because he was surprised to see his plants talking in his field.]


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Schools + FAVL = Fundraising in April

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Brockport High School Foreign Language will be hosting a Foreign Film Night to support FAVL! All ticket sale profits will go be sent to FAVL and will be spent on library activities!

The International School of Ouagadougou (ISO) will be holding a read-a-thon as part of their Literacy Month. I will be going next Tuesday to give a short presentation about FAVL to kick off their literacy activities. Each student will be sponsored by individuals for a certain amount for each book read. At the end of the month, students will collect the money, all of which will go to support our 2012 series of reading camps

Uganda Community Library Association

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Kitengesa Community Library newsletter 2012

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Meeting Partners!

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Monique had an exciting morning this morning. She spent the morning meeting with and distributing information packets about FAVL and the reading camps to potential partners here in Ouaga. The packets included the 2011 Annual Activities Report, an information pamphlet about FAVL, another about the libraries and a letter of introduction. We're going to follow up on the distribution in a couple of weeks with pamphlets about the camps and budget summaries as well as visits to talk about potential partnership and funding opportunities for the camps. Today, Monique met with representatives from UNICEF, Catholic Relief Services, Minister of Literacy, Minister of the AFD and la Francophonie. This afternoon she is going to meet with representatives from Peace Corps and the Minister of the Promotion of Women. We're also going to send the budgets and "demandes des fonds" to the big mining companies with offices here in Ouaga. Hopefully our strategy will bring help us fund the camps and bring in potential partners for future projects! 


Le mardi 06 mars 2012, dans la matinée la bibliothèque de Béréba a eu la visite de Daniel Alliot président de l'Association Crotelles au Faso et de Gisèle Alliot. Cette visite a duré environ 30mn.  Après la présentation de la bibliothèque et son fonctionnement ils ont posé des questions sur l'arbre à lecture, le public qui fréquente le plus la bibliothèque. Des explications claires leur ont été données. Ils ont remis symboliquement du matériel de fabrication de collier et des crayons de couleur et nous ont invité de passer prendre des cartons de livres et autres dans l'après midi.

matériel.jpgIls nous ont demandé ce que pensons des dons de livres qu'ils nous livrent de temps en temps. Nous leur avons dit que ces gestes nous vont droit au cœur car  ceux-ci  aident nos populations et nos lecteurs  à sortir de l'ignorance en amélioration le niveau de l'éducation. A leur tour ils ont dit que l'objectif de leur don est d'améliorer le savoir scolaire surtout de permettre aux populations de partager le savoir des autres en combattant l'analphabétisme en milieu rural. Ils se disent soucieux  des difficultés à trouver  les romans d'auteurs africains mais aussi ils sont satisfaits de la bonne utilisation de ces dons.

Avant de partir ils ont noté respectivement dans le cahier de visite les mots suivant : "Nous continuerons de faire le maximum d'expéditions au projet des bibliothèques. Nous vous remercions du respect de notre action et bon courage.  Félicitations chaleureuses pour l'installation des bibliothèques. Vous avez beaucoup de motivation et de courage."  Au nom du Coordonateur Régional et de FAVL en particulier nous leur avons remercié pour le soutien apporté afin d'œuvrer pour développement de nos localités.

A 14heures nous avons fait le retrait des cartons contenant des romans, des manuels scolaires, de bics, de markers, de jeux (dominos, puzzles) et bien d'autres Object d'animation. En attendant de faire la répartition pour les bibliothèques nous sommes très satisfait de la visite et du don, en même temps nous lançons un appel à tous les donateurs de faire un geste pour combattre l'analphabétisme dans nos milieux ruraux.

Sanou Dounko
Animateur de FAVL

FAVL Blog

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.

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