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Un bal de charité avait été organisé donc par cette association en collaboration avec le Corps de la paix pour recolter des fonds le samedi 28 janvier 2012.
Il faut dire que c'est par l'au-truchement du Corps de la paix Américain, que notre organisation a souscrit, puis a été retenue , parmi tant d'autres pour bénéficier de la donation.11 autres organisation à l'instar de FAVL ont reçu également une enveloppe de la même valeur.
Les donateurs qui se disent très heureux de pouvoir ainsi, contribuer à l'évolution des activités d' ONG ou associations *"dynamiques"*du Burkina Faso, espèrent en outre un bon usage des fonds par chaque bénéficiaire
Our idea is to introduce a friendly face with the information so that the organizations will be more likely to read it, pay attention and follow up. Thus far we have met with representatives from la Francophonie, Unilever (a big soap company) and the Millenium Challenge Account. The guy from Francophonie gave us helpful suggestions on how to proceed with the mayors of the communes with community libraries. Next we're planning future meetings with Coris Bank and WaterAid. Everyone has been incredibly receptive to FAVL's mission, and we're looking forward to future collaborations with these organizations.
Step 1: Meet with representatives of organizations and businesses to briefly brag about FAVL and what we do here in Burkina. We bring along a copy of our freshly updated pamphlet and sample of our RWA photo books.
Step 2: Follow up with a little information care package while FAVL is still fresh in their minds. It includes our new pamphlet with details and pictures about the community libraries in Burkina Faso, information about the annual reading camps and a copy of our annual report.
Here are the pamphlets we have created to accompany us on our PR missions:
The other day, shortly after my arrival to Sumbrungu, I was invited by Lucas, the library coordinator, to a funeral in his family's home.
After greeting many of Lucas's family members, we settled onto a large tire under some much appreciated shade, and Lucas explained some of the funeral traditions. Gesturing to the goat tied up next to him, Lucas explained that people bring offerings of money or animals. The animals are slaughtered over the course of the funeral celebration, often playing the dual role of sacrifice and food for the numerous guests. I had to chuckle to myself at the parallels to the overwhelming amounts of cold cut and cheese platters that people had brought to funerals I had attended in the US. It really only takes about two meals of baloney before you start to wonder where you can get a little goat.
This particular funeral was on its fourth day, and we were going to see a "sending off" ceremony of sorts, where friends and family give things to the deceased to tell her "we will not forget about you" because the final funeral closing rights were not going to be for another year.
As Lucas was explaining the finer points of the traditions, a large group of women came around the outside of the house chanting a song and moving and clapping in time while a shaker drove the beat. We followed them into the courtyard, where they began to dance and sing. The women were of all ages, and many were very old. However, they were some of the most exuberant dancers, leading the songs and jumping into the middle of the group to jump and stamp their feet when the tempo of the clapping rose to a frenzied pitch.
After a while, the group began to gather close around a wall, still singing and dancing, but now with a definite focus. Lucas and I climbed onto one of the flat roofs to get a better view. The group was gathered around a large clay pot, and the women who were closest with the deceased were kneeling around it holding onto the brim with both hands. The women around the pot would get up and sing in intervals, sometimes with the others, sometimes an individual dance, often ending with a long high yell that they directed right into the mouth of the pot. One of the women began quietly crying, reminding me that this celebration was for a funeral, but she was led away because this was not a time for crying. After all the women who wanted to dedicated something to the pot, the women carried it as a group into a small opening in one of the buildings, where it will be saved until the final funeral rites. Then more general singing and dancing resumed, including an appearance by two men complete with bows and a huge quiver of arrows, the traditional wear for the war dance.
We were there for most of the afternoon, and as dusk set in and bugs started to bite, Lucas suggested we head home. We climbed down, but before we could leave, I got pulled into dancing. Full disclosure, it takes almost nothing to pull me into dancing, I will dance at any opportunity, and with the beat that had been going on all afternoon, it had been more a matter of self control, and not wanting to overstep boundaries that had kept me from jumping in long before. That being said, I still don't have a ton what could rightly be termed "rhythm" when I dance, but it didn't seem to matter much. Pretty soon I was jumping and stamping my feet with an old woman as the others clapped a beat for us. After laughing a while with everyone, I thanked them for having me and we headed back to the Women's Center in Sumbrungu, with a grin glued to my face after such a pleasant day.
1. Coordinating/managing the growing FAVL portfolio of librarian activity guide, summer reading camp guide, and reading materials for literacy classes (workbooks, health literacy, etc.). This would involve curating, managing a resource webpage, creating new material, printing and distributing. Could be remote if have strong Internet ad web design skills.
2. Coordinating/managing/creating photo books. We just printed 120 copies of Mon Livre Prefere for a group of libraries in Europe (Amy Reggio, you are famous!). We need someone who really enjoys design for a purpose... even if it means a lot of grunt work (layout, uploading, printing, proofing, shipping). Could be remote if have the appropriate software (Adobe Indesign).
3. Bookkeeping. One person for Ghana, the other for Burkina Faso. This is about 10 hours a month if done well, and that is frequent enough that person can start working with the local team (via email) and make an impact. Has to be in San Jose unless have Quickbooks for non-profits.
Monique and I met with the librarian of the International School of Ouagadougou (ISO) on Wednesday to discuss the idea of a Read-a-thon. ISO is an English-speaking school here in Ouaga with an American-style program, with classes for kindergarten through grade 12. The librarian was enthusiastic about the idea, saying that the read-a-thon would fit well into the community service that is emphasized in ISO's curriculum. The proposal is for a month-long event for the students, in which they seek sponsors (parents, family friends, etc.) to pledge a certain amount of money for each book/page/hour the student reads during the month. Each week, the student will tally how much money (s)he has collected on their pledge sheet, which will be signed by a parent. At the end of the month, the student will collect the money from the sponsors based on his or her reading total for the month. We would have a contest between the kids in the class or between all of the classes, with the top five readers earning a prize (perhaps a gift certificate donated by a local restaurant). The money collected would either go to buying books for the libraries or helping to fund 2012 reading camps. The proposal was met with enthusiasm by the librarian, who is going to discuss the idea with her principal. She also suggested that FAVL give a presentation about our work with village libraries to the students. The participation of the older kids in the Race for Reading fundraiser (which will most likely take place next March) was also discussed. We hope that the event will be able to take place, not only for the benefit for the libraries, but for the potential relationship for FAVL with a community-service minded institution in Burkina.
This summer, the Melrose Public Library Children's Room arranged a read-a-thon in support of FAVL. A display of African-themes books was set up and the kids, as part of the annual summer reading program, were given a bead for every African book they read. The beads went into a jar, and the goal was to fill the jar with beads. At the end of the summer reading program, there were 169 beads in the jar. The kids kept their end of the deal so we kept ours: included, please find 12 checks totaling $325 from individuals/families in Melrose, MA. The kids had a great time reading about Africa. And I felt as good about expanding their perceptions of Africa as I do about supporting FAVL. Thank you for FAVL's excellent model and commitment to steady, sustained growth in Africa's villages."
Thank you to all the students, families and Melrose Public Library Children's Room staff who participated in the read-a-thon and contributed to FAVL!
Read here to see how you can organize your own Read-A-Thon.
Check out this YouTube video that explains the PC 50th anniversary fair,
and all the awesome projects and committees that PCVs take part in. Make sure
to pay special attention around 1 minute and 39 seconds, when yours truly gives
a little plug about FAVL. (Just ignore the fact I say we have 13 libraries in
Burkina...The camera made me nervous!)
I just want to thank everyone in the FAVL family: Michael, Kate, Deb, my mom, all the donors, FAVL volunteers and supporters, for making my time here so enjoyable. In just this short year I have learned so much. I have developed so many skills that I know will help me no matter what career path I take. FAVL may be small, but I can guarantee all of you that FAVL is doing some wonderful and amazing things out in village. This past year has truly been an honor and a joy for me.
I may be leaving Burkina, but I'm not done with FAVL (can you really ever be done with FAVL??). I promise to volunteer my free time to help advance and promote the nonprofit. As for Burkina, it's not 'goodbye', only 'see you later'. Elisee and I will definitely be making return trips to visit friends and family. Also, we'll be attending the FAVL fundraiser on October 21st in downtown San Jose, so I hope to see you all there! (Michael I hope you appreciate that last little publicity plug!)