Thursday, February 12, 2009

FAVL featured in article in student newspaper

Building libraries in Africa

Nonprofit provides villages with access to books, knowledge

By Dana Nialis

Issue date: 2/12/09 Section: News
Originally published: 2/12/09 at 12:42 AM PST
Last update: 2/12/09 at 12:39 AM PST

The average yearly income of a person in the West African nation of Burkina Faso is the equivalent to $150 U.S., according to professor Michael Kevane.

This meager amount does not leave the country's inhabitants with much of an expendable income, and makes it nearly impossible for them to purchase books. This is where Friends of African Village Libraries, a nonprofit organization started by two Santa Clara professors, steps in.

Kevane, who teaches economics, and his wife, environmental science professor Leslie Gray, spoke at an event last week about their experiences with FAVL, which they started with Kate Parry, a professor in the English department at Hunter College, City University of New York.

This nonprofit aims to provide access to reading and knowledge for adults and children in African villages who normally would not have such things available to them.

Emma Nagengast, the who coordinate the event, thought of the idea for this information session after learning about the organization in an economics course taught by Kevane.

She said she was interested in learning more about FAVL and sharing information about it with her fellow Santa Clara students. She said she also hoped to increase interest in the study abroad opportunity in Burkina Faso that will begin next fall.

Gray said she wanted to inform students of this new opportunity.

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