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Official Announcement of Mayor's Support

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On October 12, FAVL Activities Coordinator and 2 FAVL librarians attended a communal meeting led by the mayor of Béréba. At the meeting, the mayor officially announced the commune's support for the libraries in Béréba and Dimikuy.

Alidou writes:

La sortie du 12 octobre 2012 à été à Béréba. Cette sortie était inscrite dans le cadre de la quatrième session ordinaire de la mairie de Béréba. Environ une soixante de personne ont répondu à l'appel parmi lesquelles je pouvais noter la présence de deux gérantes de FAVL à savoir Koura Ivette et Korbeogo Salimata. En effet, j'ai suivi avec grand intérêt les débats, mais ce que je retiens de très préoccupant pour moi au cours de cette session, c'est la prise en charge annoncé des gérantes des bibliothèques de Béréba et Dimikuy par le maire dont le conseil va siéger bientôt pour la délibération.
Le samedi 1er septembre 2012 et le lundi 03 septembre 2012, DSCN9732.JPGles maires des communes de Béréba et de Koumbia ont respectivement procédé à lu signature des conventions portant sur la cession des bibliothèques créées par FAVL aux dites communes.

En effet, un atelier de réflexion tenu en juin 2011 avait permis à l'équipe de FAVL, les maires et leurs représentants d'adopter des propositions en vue de leur implicationDSCN9734.JPG dans la gestion des bibliothèques dans leur ressort territorial parmi lesquelles les conventions.

Le but de ces conventions est d'amener les communes à partager les charges financières avec FAVL de manière progressive de janvier 2013 à décembre 2015.


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Here is a table of the books purchased for Sherigu Library. Fantastic addition to the book stock.

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A colleague and I were talking about a summer trip, and she asked about costs, so I thought I would just share my reply with the whole Internet why not!

So here's the breakdown per student, and obviously there is lumpiness (i.e. if you have an 8 person bus, then adding a 9th person makes things difficult!),  Following is per person cost assuming around 8 persons total (7 students plus prof).  Note the bus payment (about $100 per day) is the same if the group is 4 people as 8 people, so it would rise considerably for a smaller group.  And an odd numbered group will cost more in a hotel, often.

in Ouagadougou, cost per day per person in USD (FCFA multiply by 500)
   15   bus rental (maybe needed on night of arrival too for airport pickup)
   15   per night per person double hotel in chambre de passage (actual price a négocier!)
     7   meals if have a host who can cook and provide meals
     5   to go out for restaurant meal every 2-3 nights
     5   gasoline for getting bus around on tours (depends on how far/much)
   10   entertainment/guide per person per day
     5   imprevus... they are going to get sick, you know, and buy metronidazole

in villages, cost per day per person in USD (FCFA multiply by 500)
   15   bus rental (maybe needed on night of arrival too for airport pickup)
   10   per night per person in maison de village en famille (actual price a négocier!)
   10   meals if have a host who can cook and provide meals
          if have to go out for every meal (are you kidding?)
     1   gasoline for getting bus around on tours (depends on how far/much)
     2   entertainment/guide per person per day
     2   imprevus... they are going to get sick, you know, and buy metronidazole

So total for Ouaga is $62 per person per day, and total in village is $40 per day per person.  So a three week trip of 5 days in Ouaga and 15 days in villages would be about $900 per person.

There are other expenses, of course.  A  longer stay in villages is more fun if there are bicycles/mobilettes.... one can rent a camel or donkey or ox cart... lots of fun!

For a modest fee, FAVL is happy to host groups that want to do service-learning in community libraries.  See Richard Akresh's Burkina trip page here, for example.


Visit to Jordan Nu library in Ghana

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JORDAN NU REPORT FOR MARILYN DEED AND FAVL/CESRUD LIBRARIES BOARD.

I am writing this report to give and account of my trip to Jordan Nu to fulfill that promise I made before my leave and also to give an overview of the operation of the library as a Regional Coordinator of FAVL/ CESRUD Libraries.  My trip was just a three (3) day visit and the following were the activities that I did in Jordan Nu:

1.     Training Workshop with the librarians
2.      Reading Activity
3.      Meeting with librarian
4.      Meeting with library committee
5.      Inspection of the library and its environment


TRAINING WORKSHOP WITH THE LIBRARIAN
This was basically on words sounding (vowels and consonants). This short and long vowels were concentrated on. As an experienced person, I have noted that most kids do not like reading because they cannot pronounce words or read a sentence and therefore never wanted to make any mistake for others to make fun of them. The librarian's knowledge on this will help them assist kids to read, Hence promote reading culture. Practicing this will lead to the correct pronunciation of the consonants with the vowels.

READING ACTIVITIES
I did spent sometime Reading Story Books with some of the kids that came to the library. After each story book I try to explain the story to them. This I think it never worked well because I was speaking English. I also observed and assisted kids reading. With this I  stand by them and they read while I observe them. I only mention words that kids find difficult pronouncing. Based on this activities I observed that most read, popular and loved book is "The 12 Ananase Story".

MEETING WITH THE LIBRARIANS
This was just like a half or an hour interaction with the librarians to give advice and know their problems.  It was from this interaction that I was told by the librarians that their allowances delays  a lot before payment. eg the report they wrote some time a go and as at the time I was there in Jordan Nu July allowance were not paid. I was also told about the Adult section which is not into good use. The Jordan Nu library has very vital and useful books for Adults but are not put to use. My best advice is to allow it or take it to stores for safe keeping. Those books should be taken proper care. These among others were discussed. Adult Basic and Health Literacy instructor's Manual was donated to the Library.

MEETING WITH THE LIBRARY COMMITTEE
This meeting was just to know some of the problems that the committee is facing in the management of the operation of the library. The major and only problem was "poor patronage" especially the Adults. My suggestion will be taken from the community and a book is made from it and kept in the library for use. Besides that members of the committee should always bring their children to the library to read and insist that if they use the library always it will help a lot.

INSPECTION OF THE LIBRARY AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
The surround of the library was cleared and flowers were shaped and more flowers were  planted. This gave a very beautiful look to the library and its environment. The urinal was very  clean and neat. Inside the library books were well shelved and covered the buds that used to disturb is no more and In fact I did appreciate the work of the committee and the librarians.
 
My trip was different from previous but very interesting. In general every thing seems to be improved in my observation. I did enjoy everything on my trip. Food was prepared by the two ladies in the committee who never took money from me, even though I had money to pay for my meals.

God Bless every one.

AMIKIYA A. LUCAS
COORDINATOR
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Unexpected finding of an avid reader!

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Lucas Amikiya writes: 

DSCN2906.JPGMy visit to Jordan Nu last month was a short one but I did enjoy it so much. The first day of my arrival I was in my room taking my supper when I heard a boy in the next room telling his Sister-in- Law about book he had read in the library. I felt bad for not understanding Ewe because he was speaking Ewe, but at a point in time he used some English words. I heard the the title of the books he seemed ot be talking about which was "The 12 Ananse story". Oh my God!! I did not understand the rest until he mentioned the library and the librarian, then I thought to myself this boy is talking about the library and a book he had read.  I met the boy the following day and took his particulars. His name is Gagbe Semary and his is 14 years old and has just completed JHS and is staying with his brother.  I made friends with the boy and took pictures of him. I asked if he could remember some of the other books he had read and he mentioned some of them like Obama's Dream, The Bible Story etc. I asked him how he felt about the library and he said he liked it so much because it had a lot of books and play items. 

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!

A Nod to FAVL's Work in Burkina

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Peace Corps Volunteer Sara Thompson, who I previously mentioned is finishing up a library project in the far east of Burkina, mentioned FAVL in a quarterly update to the generous donors of her library.

Here's a little snippet of the email she sent out:

First things first, while I was running around the community telling everyone the good news that I had raised enough money to begin the purchasing and ordering of future library books, I found out that a local organization (Tin Tua-a local eastern Gourmatche organization) has a building for a library and a librarian but no books.  (At the risk of running off on a tangent, I would just like to interrupt myself and proclaim that I am SO glad that I have the opportunity to give such a classic scenario of the life of a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV).  As you can see, I have been living in a small village-around 5,000-10,000 people for about a year and a half at this point.  I had talked with several people throughout my community during the planning stages and not once had I heard about this so-called library that was quite literally right outside my backdoor.  This is such a great example of some of the surprises and frustrations that the life of a PCV experiences.  And as such, this experience is not uncommon among PCVs and represents some of the cultural disconnect that inevitably happens throughout any PCV's service.  Brings a new  meaning to that cliche in which every day is very much a new adventure).  Regardless, the moment I found out about this non-functioning library, I was shocked and (yes, as any Volunteer is when this happens) slightly embarrassed.  Needless to say, as revelatory as it was, this was a complete boon to the entire project.  Now, not only do I have the library and books, which I had planned on, but I had a librarian!

With the money, I have bought over 450 library books as well as a solar panel specifically designated for the library.  And in addition to the financial aid of being able to afford books that everyone can use and enjoy, I was fortunate enough to know about Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL).  FAVL is an NGO which organizes librarian trainings, reading camps, awareness campaigns, and numerous other library-related activities and projects.  When the coordinator of Tin Tua approached me and asked for more information and assistance in
order for the library to function well, I was able to set up a meeting with one of the coordinators/trainers of FAVL.

The meeting between the coordinators of FAVL and Tin Tua went really well as there was a great exchange of ideas and information.  The librarian in Matiakouali will hopefully attend a FAVL librarian training session in order to learn more about how to successfully manage and operate a library.  This training will take place in mid-September after I will  have left the country.  However, to emphasize the sustainability aspect of this project, FAVL will most likely schedule a visit to Matiakouali in order to follow-up on the training and the project in general.  This is SO exciting due to FAVL's blossoming success over the past few years and the fact that both participating organizations have been around for more than 5 years and are run mostly by Burkinabe (locally) which I feel increases the sustainability of the project exponentially.


It's always nice to have fans spreading the word about FAVL and the work we do.

Lucas Amikiya FAVL coordinator writes from Sumbrungu, Ghana:

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Juliana Azagistore, one of Brianna's Literacy Class students came to the library on Monday 16th July around 9am to read. But unfortunately on her part the library was closed because Darius was absent then but I asked her to sit with me in the office to read.

She had brought her books. Some of those books were Mary Loses Her Teeth, Ghana Adult Health Reading Class etc. According to her they were told by Brianna to always come to the library to read so that they will not forget what they learned and also she said that Brianna will from time to time ask me if they come, for this reason she had decided to come and read and also to let me assure Brianna that she will always come to the library to read her own good.  

Juliana was the most serious and committed students among the Sumbrungu class. I did observe that she was always punctual at classes and would excuse herself when she think could not make it. She was also a good reader and even writing given her age. Brianna would agree with me on this. She was able to read most of the passages on Mary Loses Her Teeth with some little assistance from me. Some of this assistance was pronunciation of words like Hygiene, appearing, daughter, spoonful, powder, swallow etc. She read the whole book and practiced writing from the Ghana Adult Health Reading Class. She was with me up to 11am and then left back homeI asked her if she will be coming again and she said yes but not every day. She complained of the farming activities. She was happy and proud that she was the first person to come back to the library to read and was also lucky to meet me for assistance.

Thanks to Brianna for her good work. I will always encourage the literacy class students to imitate Juliana and not forget what they learn and try to learn more.   

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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, Peace Corps volunteer Emilie Crofton, Krystle Austin, Elisee Sare, and Monique Nadembega.

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