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A poem for quietly giving thanks

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Collateral Beauty in a Time of Famine

Fajr  (dawn)
Call-to-prayer wakens
all in this desert-edge town,
even the roosters.

Dhuhr  (noon)
On cracked-open soles,
thousands walk from hard to here,
weak bearing weakest.

Asr  (afternoon)
"Peace, peace," whisper-sings
midwife to child, newly born
and newly orphaned.

Maghrib  (sunset)
Families with little
keep stew warm over embers
for strangers with less.

Isha'a  (night)
Star-spangled dark sky
swallows suffering, emits
unexpected grace.

               Lori Zink

* FAVL board member Lori Zink was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger back in the 1980s, and shared with us this poem she wrote, reflecting how much her time in a Sahelian village inspired her.  Thanks Lori for the beautiful imagery.
Very nice profile of Ethan Greeley in The Jewish Chronicle.

When Ethan Greeley began to study for his bamitzvah at a suburban Washington DC synagogue, he already knew he wanted to aim his requisite community service project at helping children in Africa. He was particularly interested in doing something in Sebba, a tiny village in northern Burkina Faso where his mother grew up and which he had visited numerous times. Today, in that village, more than 5,000 miles away from his Maryland home, stands a new library for children and adults to gather, read and borrow books.

The library opened on April 9, 2016, about a year after Ethan's bamitzvah at Temple Emanuel. Thanks to donations from the Greeleys' friends and family; the Friends of Burkina Faso; the Temple Emanuel Global Mitzvah Committee and Merck (the pharmaceutical company for which Ethan's father, David, used to work), Ethan raised $20,000 to refurbish an old building and turn it into a library.

Don de matériels à FAVL

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Djibril SANGARE écrit

FAVL a reçu un don de matériels composé de romans, de bandes dessinées, des annales et d'autres fournitures scolaires comme des stylos, des cartables. Ce don provient de GabrielGabriel don.JPG ADJAVON résidant dans le quartier  Zone Du Bois, non loin du siège de FAVL à Ouagadougou. Notre donateur fréquente le Lycée Français Saint Exupéry à Ouagadougou. Et il vient de réussir brillamment à son examen de Baccalauréat série 'S' pour la session de 2015.
Ainsi, Il encourage les lecteurs à utiliser ces documents à bon escient afin de pouvoir améliorer leurs connaissances. Toute l'équipe de FAVL remercie  Gabriel  ADJAVON et le félicite.

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.


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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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

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.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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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. 

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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, 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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