Saturday, July 25, 2009

On the Ground at YAIS

While construction of a permanent library has yet to begin, due to the timely need of a library in the community YAIS has taken many steps towards providing resources to its community. With community support for the library established a library committee was formed to guide the process of building and sustain the library. The five-member committee includes a professional librarian, the headmaster of YAIS, a teacher in charge of library studies, a parent representative, and a local community representative. The committee, in addition to guiding the overall plan for construction and management of the library, has been charged with the responsibility of networking with community members and key stakeholders.

With the committee in place the community is moving forward with a plan to open a temporary library at YAIS in an effort to engage the community in the use of the future library and test library systems on a smaller scale before opening the permanent library. The temporary library will be housed in two currently unused classrooms at YAIS and will present a selection of the nearly 25,000 books donated by Books for Africa. With the aid of a library intern YAIS students will spend two weeks sorting, labeling, and cataloguing books for use in the temporary library. An additional four weeks has been scheduled to organize the books in their temporary space to be made available for loan to students and the community.

Once the temporary library is open to the public YAIS will begin generating income for the construction of a permanent library to supplement funds being contributed by The Building Fund and other partner organizations.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Founder Featured in SCOPE Quarterly

Founder, Jessyca Dudley, was featured in the spring issuse of SCOPE Quarterly. The article, profiling the work of Skidmore alumni in Africa, features The Building Fund and Jessyca's current work in South Africa with the U.S. Peace Corps. To read the article, please click here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

President Obama visits Ghana

Last week, President Obama visited Ghana for the first time since taking office. Highlighting Ghana's democratic achievements and the propserity of a recent election, President Obama chose a thriving country in sub-Saharan Africa that was not one with familial ties. Despite Ghana's comparable success within the region, however, the country's instability and examples of corruption could not be overlooked. Economic and political stability within the country continue to be an obstacle, as is the case within the entire continent. Obama's visit sparked intense debate over Africa's importance to the international community, including a critique of Kenya's recent turmoils and Gabon's economic strife due to a corrupt President. Ghana's transfer of power from a democratic election will ultimately decide a peaceful and stable politic. Will Ghana be the exception or the normal?

To read more about President Obama's visit, please see the New York Times article, "Ghana Visit Highlights Scarce Stability in Africa." (