Nouvèl FOKAL

mercredi 4 mai 2011

A library that burns

FOKAL learned with indignation of the criminal fire that destroyed the Jacques Roumain community library on April 21st as well as the Tèt ansanm community radio station and the Centre for culture and development in Carice (SKDK), a commune in the North-East  of Haiti. FOKAL expresses its profound solidarity and asks that all light be shed on these incidents and that justice be served. This is a ten-year-long collaboration that has now turned to ashes in an area where citizens have a great deal of trouble accessing information.

According to the directors of radio Tèt ansanm, in an interview with AlterPresse,
« those criminal acts, perpetrated the day after publication of the final results of the general elections, is the work of INITE party followers angered by the loss of their candidate for member of parliament M. Jn Berthole Bastien ».

The Carice library was a very small space that not only sheltered the library, but also a community radio station and a youth association. The reading room also served as a meeting space for youth clubs and local associations. Students used the space to prepare for their exams.

Until very recently, the book collection was very poor and the only computer in this center belonged to the administration. At the beginning of this year, the FOKAL library staff went to Carice to visit the library and gave them books to add to their collection, and also brought computer materials under the Mobile Mini-Lab project, which supplies the libraries in our network with small mobile laboratories to make possible free access to information on a grater scale.

Through this program, the Jacques Roumain community library received four Classmate PCs, one large screen PC, one projector and one Wi-fi router. All computers were equipped with a range of software for students in order to expand their access to information. All this material and all these efforts were reduced to dust on April 21st.