Kano (Fatima Lawson and Charlie Cogan) - Nigeria

Project Goal: $24,540

Current Progress: $22,600 (92.00%)

The Kano Project has been a labor of love for Dr. Fatima Lawson, who is a BFA Board Member and elementary school principal in St Paul, Minnesota. She grew up in Kano and attended schools there through the secondary school level. Her niece is headmistress of a government girls' school in Kano and told Fatima that her school has almost no books to work with. Kano is 800 miles inland from the coast, but in medieval times was a bustling business hub for the trans-Saharan trade. Lorenzo D'Anania, a geographer, said in 1571 that Kano was one of the three great market cities in Africa, the other two being Cairo and Fez.

The project is in partnership with BFA Board Member Charlie Cogan and the Rotary Club of Northfield.  Many Rotary Clubs have contributed $1,000 to make this project happen. Past RI President Jonathan Majiyagbe (2003-2004) lives in Kano and has put their district DGE Sagab Ahmed Sani in charge of being the point person from the Rotary Club of Bompai in Kano. Along with the niece of BFA Board Member Fatima Lawson, they are working on the Kano side to ensure that everything is coordinated smoothly.

This is a meaningful project since the Faculty of Law at Bayero University is also approved to receive a law library supplied by Thomson Reuters. In the north, the government tries to do a delicate balancing act between traditional Islamic Shari'a law for local cases and international law. This law collection will strengthen the capacities of the Faculty of Law to guarantee that international legal norms are respected and that legal professionals are trained in Kano to make this happen.

Recipients will include Government Girls’ and Boys’ schools in the area. Although some of these schools have books in their library, most of them are donated furniture, magazines or old and outdated books. This project aims to build their supply with newer, high-quality, relevant materials.

Below is a slide show of photos of some of the planned beneficiary schools of the project, including the shelves where the books will go.

Kano Project Site, Nigeria

Contact: Fatima Lawson, fatima.lawson@spps.org

Contact: Charlie Cogan, charlesacogan@gmail.com