Report on the inauguration of the renovated Gowrie-Kunkua community library #Ghana

The renovated Gowrie-Kunkua community library was officially inaugurated on the 29th of May 2021 at the library premises by the executive director of CESRUD, Mr. Rex Asanga. It will be recalled that on the 10th of May 2020, the entire roofing of the Gowrie-Kunkua community library was blown off by a strong wind storm. The unfortunate incident was brought to FAVL attention and was swiftly responded to. FAVL made a donation for the renovation work to kick start and added more funds to get the work completed. We say a big thank you to FAVL.

The inauguration ceremony started in the earlier hours of the day inside the library hall, the chief and elders of the Kunkua community, together with other people of the community with children came out in their good numbers for the ceremony. The Upper East Regional Librarian, Mr. Leslie Kasanga, a representative from the Gowrie-Kunkua Junior High and Primary School, Madam Portia among other people were in attendance.

The ceremony started with an open prayer and a welcome address by the Chairman of the Gowrie-Kunkua library committee, Mr. Donatus Adua who on behalf of the chief and people of Gowrie-Kunkua welcomed everyone for coming to witness and grace the inauguration ceremony. He used the opportunity and thanked CESRUD and FAVL for supporting their community with one of the community libraries. He said since the establishment of the library in their community, a lot of people have passed through the library and today are responsible people in society today. He cited the first librarian of the library, Ayamdoo Jennifer who was present at the inauguration ceremony as an example, through the community library, she is now a nurse by profession, there was another young man there by name Mr. Simon who has also pass through the community library and is also now a professional teacher and many others. He was particularly grateful and thankful to FAVL for coming to the aid of the community when the library roofing was destroyed by the wind storm last year. He was so happy that children and young adults will have the opportunity again to sit at the library and read.

After the welcome address by the chairman, I took my turn and address the gathering about what CESRUD/FAVL was all about, I dealt a little bit on FAVL, touching on its mission and vision and how CESRUD and FAVL came into being. Touching on the unfortunate destruction of the library roofing last year, I told the chief and people of the community that when the news got to FAVL, they were shocked by the terrible news and in no time they mobilize some funds and sent to us to get the renovation work started as soon as possible. In a meeting with the library committee prior to the start of the work, they assured us that the community was going to contributed monies and mobilize labor to support the work. But along the line the contribution from the community was not as expected and the entire work largely was shouldered by FAVL our main donor. Efforts were made to get the two assemblies (Bolgatanga Municipal and Bongo district Assemblies) to support, letters were sent to these assemblies with updates of the happenings that befell the library at the time and the cost of the renovation work to be done, to our sad disappointment we did not get any response from them up to date.

I emphasized to the chief and people that in instances like what happened to the library last year our friend and partner FAVL expects dedicated commitment from the community towards the work to be done, in fact that is one of the ways FAVL operates, in other words they expect any community they are working with to be actively involved in the running and maintenance of the libraries and so anytime there are incidents of this nature among others, people should be ready and willingly to support. I use the opportunity to thank all the people especially the youth who supported in moving the library properties to the nearby house for temporal keeping, I also acknowledge the efforts of the youth and all the people who were always present to ensure that the work goes on till it’s completion.

The chief (Naba Adua) on his part was particularly happy and grateful to FAVL working through CESRUD for giving his community one of the community libraries and the support they have given to the library up to date. He said together with his people they are very happy that their children have a place to go and read whenever they want to read and learn and that he and his people will help their children to make good use of the library. He was elated that the renovation work was completed and that children can now sit in the library again and learn.

The queen mother (wife of the chief) on her part was happy and thankful to CESRUD/FAVL Ghana for the great work done. She admonished her colleague women to ensure that they support their children to visit the library and make good use of the place. They should channel all their energies and resources in supporting the education of their children.

The Upper East Regional Librarian on his part was very happy that the library was ‘back to its feet’ and looking more beautiful than the way it was first, he told the gathering how the Ghana Library Authority is working with the Assemblies to take over the management of the libraries after CESRUD/FAVL Ghana approached his outfit. He admitted things has been very slow on their part but assured that his outfit will be doing something about the management and maintenance of all community libraries in the Region. He tasked parents to support and encourage their children to always visit the library because reading makes a man as they say and that a reading nation is a winning nation.

The director of CESRUD/FAVL Ghana, Mr. Rex Asanga taken his turn to address the people thank the chief and his people for coming out in their good numbers for the inauguration ceremony. He touched on how CESRUD was started, it’s mission and vision, and how CESRUD and FAVL came together and established the three community libraries. He recounted how their time when he was a child, they use to walk several kilometers away to the Upper East Regional library which was the only library in the Region by then to read and walk back home, it was not easy, all his prayer and wish was that if God Almighty help him to progress in his education, he will do something about it. So he happy to have played a role in the establishment of the community libraries. He wish the libraries would have been more than the three libraries we have currently but governments of the day in Ghana have not been supportive to brilliant idea of community libraries, that is why the libraries are still three in Ghana. He cited in Burkina Faso, the community libraries there are many because their local governments or mayors bought into the idea of the libraries. He admonished the chief and his people that it is high time they change the narrative of always waiting and expecting assistance from elsewhere, it is time everyone rise up and always play his part to support every social intervention that is in the community like the community library and any other project that will be coming to their community. They should always be involved in supporting in the running and maintenance of the library. He thanked the community for their contribution towards the renovations work, however he told the gathering he was not happy with the contribution from the community towards the renovation of the library, he expected more from them than what they did, he told them parts of the works is yet to be done, they should be willing to still contribute to finished up the work when they are being called upon.

The director encourage the pupils and students to make good use of the library, they should spent much time in the library reading. Reading at all times will help them improve upon their reading ability, writing skills and they stand a better chance to excel in their education if they know how to read.

The Honorable Assembly Man of the community Mr. Donald Abongo who was very instrumental in the renovation work of the library expressed his heart felt gratitude to FAVL for the enormous support given to their community, he also thanked the director of CESRUD and the libraries Coordinator for their efforts and roles played in the renovation of the library. He told the gathering, as an Assemble Man it is not easy handling people in this part of the world but he is going to liaise with the library committee, the chief and his elders to get the people to contribute towards the rest of the remaining works.

The director of CESRUD/FAVL Ghana after all was said and done announced to all the gathering that the renovated Gowrie-Kunkua community library was officially duly inaugurated on the 29th day of May 2021, he then ceremoniously hands over to the Upper East Regional Librarian, who also in a ceremonious manner handed it to the chief of the community for proper care and maintenance. It was an awesome ceremony!

On behalf of the executive director of CESRUD/FAVL Ghana, the Chief and people of Gowrie-Kunkua community, I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to FAVL, SUN STONE MAMAS who shouldered almost all the renovation cost. We grateful to, the smiles you have putting in the faces of the children of the Gowrie-Kunkua community would shine to the higher height.