FRIENDS OF AFRICAN VILLAGE LIBRARIES

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Issues: Education

Location: PO Box 90533 San Jose CA 95109 USA

Mission: FAVL's goal is to assist the rural poor of Africa with the creation of village libraries. This is accomplished by working closely with the communities in which the libraries are established. FAVL refurbishes community-donated buildings, transforming them into a space to read and study. Libraries are stocked with books by local authors and in local languages to the greatest extent possible. In addition, FAVL sponsors librarian training and provides for librarian salaries, thereby empowering locals with skilled employment. We believe that every child and adult should have the opportunity to pick up a book and read. FAVL is dedicated to increasing access to reading material and other information in rural villages in sub-Saharan Africa. FAVL-supported libraries serve all members of the village community. One core public is the local community of readers- schoolchildren, adult learners, and other persons committed to reading. Most children, particularly in rural areas, have little access to books. While they may go to school, they will probably have little opportunity to read age-appropriate material. There are very few books available in rural schools. FAVL emphasizes books that are highly demanded by local readers: African novels and storybooks, children’s books with village themes, and local language materials for the newly literate village reader. Children, young adults, farmers, weavers, traders, and others in very poor villages should have similar access to information- through books and other media- as people in developed countries. FAVL operates under the belief that true development can only happen when people are empowered by access to information and the habits of reading and critical thinking. FAVL strives to include in every library collection as much relevant, useful information as is available- whether about building a compost pit, a chicken coop, or treatment of dysentery.

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