GOLD2022

FRIENDS OF AFRICAN VILLAGE LIBRARIES

A library for every village in Africa!

San Jose, CA   |  https://www.favl.org

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 helps libraries to run summer reading camps and other reading programs. FAVL produces micro-books appropriate for village readers. FAVL sponsors librarian training and provides for librarian salaries, thereby empowering locals with skilled employment.

Ruling year info

2001

West Africa Co-Director and FAVL Founder

Michael Kevane

East Africa Co-Director

Kate Parry

Main address

PO Box 90533

San Jose, CA 95109 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3397397

NTEE code info

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Burkina Faso

FAVL has helped to establish and as of 2022 continues to offer support to 38 libraries in Burkina Faso. Support depends on donations. Each library costs about $5,000 to operate, annually. Libraries belong to local political administrative units (called communes) and are under supervision of local mayors. FAVL provides training to librarians on how to manage a village library, encourage villagers to subscribe to the library, find local partners and organize kids activities. FAVL also performs regular evaluations and audits of each library. Librarians organize weekly children's activities like story time, origami and information sessions on handwashing and malaria. FAVL also organizes annual reading camps at each village libraries, if funding is sufficient.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

The small center, established in 2014 with a grant from Rotary International, is a "hub" for producing local illustrated books, with authors and illustrators from Tuy province. Over the period 2014-2022 the center has produced more than 150 titles; each booklet is printed (photocopied) and distributed to community and public libraries.

Population(s) Served
Adults

FAVL supports three community libraries in Upper East, Ghana. They are: Sherigu, Gowrie-Kunkua, and Sumbrungu. FAVL partners with CESRUD, a local non-profit based in Sumbrungu.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

FAVL currently no longer produces photo books for young and new readers. As of 2019, FAVL had produced over 150 photo book titles . These books are in French, and appeal to young readers in the villages. You can get previews (and order some!) at https://fp.fastpencil.com/users/favlafrica

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Friends of African Village Libraries supports the Kitengesa Community Library, a small and successful library in central Uganda, and also the Uganda Community Libraries Association.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People of African descent

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

FAVL's goals over the next five years are to: obtain funds to establish village libraries in every village with a school in the province of Tuy in Burkina Faso; complete the process for all 12 village libraries in Burkina to make librarians employee's of their local mayors office; render operational and sustainable the multi-media center in Hounde, where local family histories will be published, local illustrators will be given the opportunity to be published and local staff will be trained on new technology like Microsoft Publisher. Our long term goals are to promote reading, especially of local literature, and libraries in rural communities in Africa. We want to encourage readers to participate in reading, creating their own reading materials and reading stories with familiar characters and settings alongside literaure from other countries. We want people to see reading as a leisure activity that can broaden horizons and open minds instead of a tedious task done only at school.

We have had workshops and discussions with mayors, and have successfully signed agreements with local mayors that officially makes the local librarian an employee of the mayor's office. Librarians and regional coordinators also send regular activities reports to keep local officials up to date about the goings-on at the libraries. We believe these relationships, as the government of Burkina Faso decentralizes and gives more authority to local mayors, will render the libraries sustainable in the long term.

As we build village libraries, we are constantly making an effort to involve local officials, masons and other community members in the process, so that they begin to see the library as a community structure and not the entity of a foreign organization. This makes villagers more likely to visit the library and take responsibility when there are repairs to be done.

We have over ten years experience in renovating buildings for libraries, generating local support for the library and reading, creating reading materials of local interest. We also have experience in forging partnerships with local government officials, like mayors and ministers. We run fundraising events like marathons, read-a-thons and book talks to generate financial support for our libraries. Our librarians are experienced in organizing activities like story hour, arts and crafts, group discussions, book clubs, information sessions on hygiene, family planning and girl's education. Our librarians also advocate and educate their communities on the importance of village libraries. We collect funds for and organize reading camps during summer vacation to increase primary school students' literacy skills, encourage creativity and familiarize them with their local library and librarian.

As of march 2019, FAVL helps manage and support 34 village libraries in Burkina Faso, 3 in northern Ghana, and 1 in Uganda. We also partner with Uganda Community Library Association, which now has a network of over 80 member libraries. In Burkina Faso, we have succeeded in signing partnership agreements with the numerous district governments for financial responsibility of the libraries to be passed over to the mayor's office . Many rural councils are currently paying 50-100% of the librarian's salary and librarians are considered employees of their local mayor's office. We are well on our way to our village libraries being sustainable in the long-term.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Residents of villages with community libraries supported by FAVL. Our local partners (in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Uganda), report regularly and frequently about librry users and local leaders and their involvement with libraries.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In Ghana, local school directors and teachers, and junior secondary students, are very interested in reading competitions. Despite a long-standing policy not to directly aid school activities (FAVL focus is community libraries), the organization decided to support these competitions as a way of promoting reading.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

FRIENDS OF AFRICAN VILLAGE LIBRARIES
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

FRIENDS OF AFRICAN VILLAGE LIBRARIES

Board of directors
as of 12/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Michael Kevane

Santa Clara University

Michael Kevane

Santa Clara University

Kate Parry

Hunter College

Valeda Dent

Emory University

Melanie Sellar

Santa Clara University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/22/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/14/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.