The renovation work on the first library in Cotonou (Benin) financed by AAD in association with the Fondation Zinsou is now fully under way. AAD Co-Presidents Matthias and Gervanne Leridon, alongside Beninese and French officials, artists and celebrities, will officially inaugurate the library on November 8th 2012.
Planted in the underprivileged neighborhood of Alga, which counts approximately 100,000 inhabitants, this library aims to be a place of learning and dreaming for local young people and is equipped with a stock of 1200 publications for children aged 6-12. Once the doors open, the library expects to welcome around 200 young readers each day.
If this project is aimed particularly at children, it is because they represent 44.2% of Benin’s population. In facilitating access to books from a very young age, AAD hopes to contribute to combating rampant illiteracy rates and to building a new generation of devoted readers.
Faithful to its cause of linking development projects to contemporary artistic creations, AAD has called on the Beninese artist Zinkpè to create a hanging mobile as a decorative centerpiece for the library, thus bringing art to the heart of children’s education.
The management of the library has been handed over to the Fondation Zinsou. This organization, which has been working since 2009 for the democratization of education in Benin, has already opened two mini-libraries for children in Cotonou and is preparing to inaugurate this third library in mid-October.
And the efforts of AAD do not stop there. This initiative is part of the larger AAD « Beautiful Libraries of Benin » project, with two other buildings also being renovated and transformed into libraries by the end of 2013.