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Kanfidini Ouoba in Burkina Faso drives the moped library. Photo: Assibidi Namountougou

Burkina Faso: A moped to support literacy

In eastern Burkina Faso, the book moped has become a weapon in the fight for literacy. The ‘bibliomoto’, is a library transported by moped that aims give people in the most remote parts of Burkina Faso the chance to read and also get up-to-date news and information about the world around them.

Learned to read with the support of Diakonia

25-year old Kanfidini Ouoba comes from the small community of Boulel in eastern Burkina Faso and is the second oldest of nine children. He learned to read with the help of Diakonia’s partner organization Tin Tua and after a while was given his own book moped to manage.

Newspaper in the local language

Every day, Kanfidini travels to two or three villages and distributes the Labaali newspaper in the market. Labaali, which means ‘news’ in the local language Gulmancema, comes out once a month and is written by people who have learned to read through Tin Tua. The paper contains news about the organization, the region, the country and the whole world. It also has articles about current issues such as the environment, children’s and women’s rights, AIDS, and development issues. During elections there is information about why people should vote and how voting works.

The access to books and information brings about change in society

As well as the Labaali newspaper, Kanfidini takes along books and publications that might be of interest to villagers and school children who have no access to a library. He also teaches subjects such as gender equality, health and the importance of learning to read. Kanfidini feels that what he does is important for young people’s literacy and general education, but he also really enjoys reading the newspaper aloud to older people with poor sight. This often results in them taking action themselves to ensure that their children and grandchildren, particularly girls, get the opportunity to learn to read and go to school.

Vocational training 

Those who have learned to read can get professional training through Tin Tua and thereby increase their earnings and improve their living conditions. Kanfidini is grateful that he has been able to buy tools that he needs for farming thanks to the money he gets for his work with the book moped. But he says that the best thing about the work is meeting people and seeing how keen and interested they are when he arrives in their village.

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone making a living, learning to read and getting new insights that they can then pass on to other people,” says Kanfidini.