We would like to make progress in rehabilitating the library in Bereba, but unfortunately the security situation in Burkina Faso continues to deteriorate. Over the past year the community of Bereba has been attacked twice (armed gunmen attacking the police and forestry post). Other villages in the area have also been attacked. The gendarmerie of the main town of the province, Houndé, was attacked. This high insecurity makes it hard for FAVL and partner personnel to carry out activities. Moreover, the military government, which took power in a coup d’état in January 2022, suspended local civilian leadership, replacing it with military appointed local leadership. These leaders have little legitimacy and authority, and are unable to act as good partners. So progress has slowed. We continue to regularly reach out to local partners, both informally and in government, to try to assess when we might be able to make more progress.
In the meantime, FAVL continues to support the library in Bereba (and neighboring Dimikuy) by supporting the librarians and ensuring the libraries are open part of the week for readers. We have focused also in Burkina Faso on our project to print 10,000 copies of 50 titles in our “local authors” series. These are short illustrated books for young readers, photocopied. We anticipate finishing these in September, and distributing 250 copies to each of the libraries in Bereba and Dimikuy, as well as to other libraries in Tuy province.