of Mandinaba Community Library in Kombo East Saturday hosted founders of Fyen
Network; a literacy and education advocate Network at the Library where they
conducted a joint student reading and other extra-curricular activities.
Led by their mother Lucy Fye; a two-time Harvard University graduate, World Bank Economist and mother of six children, Halima Bah, the inspirer of Princess Halima project under the Network also presented three of her published books to the students and conducted reading sessions with them. They were also engaged in poem reading, drama and acting and a general discussion.
Fye Network targets to be the premier producer and provider of African inspired entertainment and information for children of all ages. It seeks to develop creative and innovative experiences that will excite, amaze and educate children of varying yet beautiful aspects of the African continent.
“Education is important in everyone’s life and it is important to have beautiful reflections in your life,” Anna Faye, Fyen director of communication told the students.
She told the students that they should strive to learn about the world and to know and understand themselves, where they came from and their culture and traditions.
In June of 2007, the Princess Halima project was inspired by the birth of the first baby (grandchild) in the family, Halima Bah. Halima is of Guinean, Gambian and Tanzanian descent. “With such a rich combination of African culture and history, we thought the best way to educate Halima about her many homelands was to start the series of books through which she will get to not only discover her heritage, but also learn about the African continent as a whole.”
Coordinator of Mandinaba Community Library Amadou Jallow said the young people of the community established the facility in 2005 triggered by their concern in the students’ examination failure and the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy and school dropouts.
He noted that the facility is not only focusing on students’ school curriculum but targets to give them holistic growth and development. “We also inspire and encourage them to take up volunteer engagements in community development and child protection and development advocacy.”
He said since the commencement of the facility, it has facilitated the return to school of some dropout students most of whom are now advocates of child education and protection.
Fyen’s Managing Director Ya Adam Fye told students that they have the right to decide what life to take but reminded them that it must be a decent and productive one.
Sulayman Darboe and Lamin Y. Dampha, volunteer teachers at the Library said the activities they conduct are completely different from the activities of other libraries in the country. “You can go round all the libraries in the country and you will find one thing in common and that is reading. But the most uncommon with Mandinaba Community Library is our engagement of students in public speaking, collective reading sessions and engagement in life protection activities and community services,” Sulayman said.
Mr. Dampha said since they started engaging the students at the library, they have realised increased examination passes and reduction in the rate of teenage pregnancy. “It has also increased encouragement in students coming to the library.”