A LIBRARY FOR ÉCOLE MAMIKO
Without doubt reading is the foundation of learning and education. But the magic of reading goes far beyond that: a book helps children (and adults) to dream, imagine, get ideas about their future, forget about their problems, have fun, and socialize.
This is why the Boky Mamiko project has set up a school library for École Mamiko, which now counts more than 600 children's books, both in French and in Malagasy. We also hired and trained a local young woman to work as librarian, and collaborate with the local teachers to encourage the children's passion for reading.
the Boky Mamiko library opened its doors in june 2018, and it is a big success!
WHY A LIBRARY FOR ÉCOLE MAMIKO?
The idea of setting up a school library for École Mamiko stems from the simple fact that finding children’s books in Madagascar is extremely difficult (some bookstores can be found only in the capital Antananarivo, which is 800 km from Djangoa), and in any case books are too expensive for families and the school itself to buy them.
As French is together with Malagasy the official language of Madagascar, the library will be provided with children's books in French and in Malagasy (a limited amount of children's books are published in Malagasy, or are bilingual Malagasy-French).
The library will therefore support École Mamiko to offer bilingual education, particularly for teaching French. As receiving an early-age bilingual education is potentially more effective than learning a foreign language at an older age, the presence of a kindergarten at École Mamiko – which is quite unusual in the rural areas of Madagascar, where schools normally start from primary school age – is in this sense important.
The kick-start of the Boky Mamiko library project were three large donations of children's books collected by the Lycée français Marie-Curie of Zurich and by our volunteers, Carla Capurro and Lea Sussegan.
Thank you for organizing the book collections, and to all who donated their books!
NOT ANY BOOK, QUALITY BOOKS
We are convinced that the quality of the books that will enter the school library of École Mamiko is crucial to foster the children's interest in books and to have a positive impact on their development.
For this reason, we carefully read each book that was donated to us and decide whether it is suitable or not for the school library. Only books that children from Madagascar can relate to, and that are respectful of Africa's diversity and culture, get their way into our library. This is not to say that we do not include books on non-African countries and cultures, but we do so in a selective way.
Are you familiar with novelist Chimamanda Adichie's TedTalk on "The danger of a single story"? It is probably the best explanation why we are so careful in selecting our books!
the children of the lycée francais marie curie of zurich donating their books to the Boky Mamiko project
the Boky Mamiko team at work for the books selection
NOT ONLY FRENCH BOOKS, MALAGASY BOOKS TOO
We are also convinced of the importance to support authors and publishers from Madagascar. We therefore organized fundraising activities to buy over 50 books written by Madagascar authors and published locally in Malagasy or bilinugual Malagasy-French.
If you want to better understand why we think that supporting local authors and publishers is important, take a look at this Alert on the mass-donation of books to Madagascar posted by the publishing house Editions Jeunes Malgaches.
the books we bought from Éditions Jeunes Malgaches