The Niombato Library Project

The Niombato Library Project

The "Cultures and Customs of Senegal" program, which developed in 2011 lead by SUNY Albany, Union College, and Albany College of Pharmacy, introduced me to the Senegalese reality. While attending, I had the opportunity to visit several unique places in Senegal and became aware of the disparities adolescence and youth face within the varying educational programs available. Mr. Waly Faye (liaison in Senegal) and program director at the West African Research Center (W.A.R.C.) has (in addition to directing us through the Study Abroad program) been a resident of the Niombato village who helped identify the need of a touring library in coalition with the Niombato Students Association. Mr. Faye as the president of Participatory Action for International Development (PAID) has described to me his broader plan to support literacy and education for middle and high school aged students. Within the broader plan is a specific plan to support a travelling library that will be accessible primarily to middle and high school students without fees or charges.

The main goal is to allow people, particularly students of the community to have access to resources of knowledge and media outlets such as internet, books on their syllabus, general books, articles etc. The library will be settled in the easily accessible village of Karang in which Waly is a member of. In addition to the library center in Niombato there will be a touring part in each of the four villages with local middle schools hosting several of the books for two months before giving it back for another one.

The initial phase that consists of locating an area, identifying its needs, and implementing a plan to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of the area based on the communities assets has been designed and implemented with the work of Mr. Faye and his position in the community. The second phase of the program, which encompasses fundraising, outreach, project analysis, book drives, and grant seeking has begun and will continue until the third and final development phase. This final stage, which will begin upon arrival in Dakar and begin with the purchasing of the requested amenities in addition to the development of the library in Niombato (Building shelves, tables, chairs, basic library/classroom development). I will be personally working with Mr. Faye from this point forward to deliver the books to the village as well as complete the final phase of the project which includes installing the library with the help of the Niombato Students Association.

Although some books may come from the United States there are large second hand book markets in Dakar that will be used primarily to purchase the books and materials required to create and sustain the project. The books received here will be used as additional books that will help develop the library beyond the needs of the students' basic course curriculum. Based on an analysis conducted $3000 will cover the three phases of the project, which will then be allocated to them as follows.


Shipment of books::::::::::::$500

*International travel expenses will total an estimated cost of $1,500 - $1,600. While transportation costs are included and state an amount lower than this the budget will include a portion of this amount in addition to an estimated $70-$150 transportation costs of delivering the materials to Niombato.

**Interested in donating books? Send them to Albany Barn in Albany's Arbor Hill downtown community
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