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September 19, 2011

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September 19, 2011

Lubuto Libraries are connecting children, books and communities through a wide variety of activities supporting literacy and development. Since the opening of the Lubuto Library in Garden area of Lusaka children have been regular and consistent users of materials, participated in theater and art programs and taken to the one-laptop-per-child computers. I've watched the children teach themselves and each other. During their time in the library they are enjoying the learning and exchanges with each other.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working with children from Lusaka.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide more staff to work daily with the children.

September 16, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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September 16, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

As a librarian, I know the importance of books and reading in the lives of all human beings, especially children. Jane Kinney Meyers and the Lubuto Libraries provide a wonderful service to the street children of Zambia who have so little. Having visited the first Lubuto Library in Lusaka, I saw for myself how this place changes lives, builds esteem and provides hope to those who need it most. This is the most wonderful charity that I am aware of and positive in every way.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

changing the lives of street kids who have so little by providing them with an enriching atmosphere of books, arts and hope.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of a thing I would change except that I would give them enough money to build hundreds of these libraries.

September 14, 2011
3 people found this review helpful

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September 14, 2011
3 people found this review helpful

What a wonderful organization with an important mission serving the children most in need. I have never been to Zambia or even Africa but I feel connected through this organization. I participate in volunteer book cataloging on weekends. In return, I am made to feel a part of the important work of Lubuto Library Project. We hear amazing stories and see the results of our efforts in children who not only survive but thrive and succeed through Lubuto services. Lubuto expands the concept of "library" to its fullest expression in serving children in need. A Lubuto library is a sustainable library providing high quality services to children in need -- a concept and a reality worthy of greater support and expansion...

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

greater support$

September 13, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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September 13, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I remember when the Lubuto Project was conceived. I was volunteering in Zimbabwe in 1999 and Jane Meyers sent me an email saying that she was reading to Street Children at the Foundation of Hope in Lusaka. She quickly went from reading under the trees to setting up the first container library and then to establishing the Lubuto Project. It’s a beautifully-designed development project that actively engages all kinds of stakeholders from Zambia’s former President to student volunteers in the US. Its libraries and programs are carefully designed to reflect and respect local customs which will enable them to be sustainable.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Lubuto won my heart when I heard that a couple of street children had learned to read at Lubuto’s first library and went on to pass their A levels which meant that they could enter the “main stream” of Zambian life. I’ve witnessed first-hand how AIDs tears apart families in parts of Africa. It leaves children to fend for themselves, and Lubuto’s welcoming and safe environment means gives these orphans a rest from the harshness of street life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would encourage everyone to give donations with no strings attached. There are so many start-up costs when a project expands or a non-profit introduces a new program and the Lubuto management and Board end up having to spend too much time looking for additional cash to “connect the dots.”

September 5, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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September 5, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I was fortunate to meet Jane Meyers at a library association meeting in January 2011; our introductory conversation featured 10 seconds of small talk and suddenly we were talking about books, children, and the international arena. I was so taken with her enthusiasm and passion for this organization that I began volunteering with the Lubuto Library Project the next week. As the months have passed, I've learned much more of this organization's history and mission, and am so proud to be associated with it. In my experience, a danger in international development is for a well-meaning project to attempt to install another culture in place of the one that benefits from outside assistance. Beyond the warmth, camaraderie, and dedication of the volunteers I have worked with in DC, I am most impressed with the respectful position the Lubuto Library Project takes towards its host culture - not just "Zambian" culture, but recognition of all the smaller societies that make up a country. The efforts of the full-time volunteers in Lusaka is a tremendous boost to the efficacy and forward vision of this organization. Management of the actual libraries in Zambia is a local enterprise; who better than established community members to facilitate community outreach? I hope to have a chance to experience these sites in person; even if that doesn't happen, I hope to be associated with Lubuto for years to come.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I get to spend time each week discovering new children's books, learning more about places in the world that I have never been, and connecting with like-minded people in my field (library and information science). It feels like a small effort on my part, but from a small acorn a mighty oak grows. All of these efforts in tandem contribute to a great growth in opportunity and delivery. It continually surprises me that only a year ago I knew of Lubuto only in passing and now it is in my heart.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I could recommend something, I would suggest that those who donate give money to be allotted to the area of greatest need. There are so many factors, given the rules governing nonprofits, the economic climate at any moment, and the political climate, that affects the development of the existing and future libraries. Money is always needed, but if it is already appropriated to one area, another immediate need may go unmet, and the organization as a whole feels the effect.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

August 22, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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August 22, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I had the most fortunate opportunity to spend 10 months with Lubuto as a full-time volunteer in Zambia. To say that my time there was a life changing experience would be an understatement. Lubuto and the children and youth it serves are unique, special and vital to the development of the country. In addition to providing a comprehensive and quality book collection, the things that make Lubuto are its programs and local partnerships. With a profound respect and appreciation for Zambian culture and experts, Lubuto strives to connect “lost” children with their roots and community. The beautiful buildings provide a safe haven for children living amidst urban sprawl as well as connecting them with adults who care. Through drama, visual arts, storytelling and computer literacy, Lubuto’s programs allow often voiceless children a vehicle for self-expression and discovery. Each library is hosted by a community organization whose staff is directly responsible for the management of the library, ensuring local ownership and involvement. It is impossible to spend time with Lubuto’s children and not fall in love. I have seen first-hand the difference this organization has made in encouraging the extraordinary youth of Zambia to improve their educational opportunities and to find their voice.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I spent 10 months working in the libraries and with the children they serve. Lubuto provides vital services and resources to some of the most disadvantaged youth in the country. It profoundly impacts those it serves.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encourage more people to become involved and see first-hand its successes and to meet its children. Lubuto needs more engaged volunteers and more life-changing libraries.

February 21, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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February 21, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I assist with volunteer recruitment at Lubuto Library Project. Additionally, I worked with a cross-functional team to coordinate the rollout of the One Lapto per Child (OLPC) laptops to the patrons of the library in Lusaka, Zambia.

I designed and maintained a wiki for Lubuto volunteers
contributing to the OLPC project and collaborated with the team to create a user friendly manual to help with the introduction and ongoing maintenance of the computers.

I thoroughly enjoy working with Jane Meyers and the other volunteers. This experience has allowed me to develop my communications, social media and usability skills in a professional environment. It has also been valuable meeting and working with other professionals in the library and information science community of practice.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the delight and enjoyment on the patrons’ faces after the successful introduction of the computers demonstrates the many ways volunteering can make a difference and empower the community. It also emphasizes the importance of Lubuto libraries programs, services and spaces for both the patrons they serve and the volunteers working to support them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

January 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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January 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

The Lubuto Library Project (LLP) attracted my attention as a worthy organization the first time I learned of the culturally sensitive approach to bringing libraries to Sub-Sahara Africa. The clients are the street children (orphans) and other vulnerable children. The power of this clever approach, using indigenous style building construction and individually selected relevant books, is remarkably simple and effective.

I had to join the group the same night that I heard a presentation by the inspired LLP president, Jane Meyers. Jane is a dynamic and motivated leader thoroughly committed to LLP. I have worked with her frequently and her focus is clearly, intently and usually on LLP.

I have helped with fundraising and cataloging books and I enjoy my socially relevant work on behalf of a worthy cause. This is not work when the effort is uplifting.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This organization helps me personally in fulfilling a need to help others in an international way, using an intelligent and sensitive approach.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would quicken the pace of adding libraries. Currently cash limitations, in-country delays and sufficient quality books dampen the pace of spreading the light of knowledge to Sub-Sahara Africa.

January 16, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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January 16, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

Several years ago, I learned about Lubuto completely by chance - a Google search that led me to an amazing organisation that I'm so proud to be a part of. I've had the chance to see firsthand the impact that the libraries have on the children in Zambia who use them. Their enthusiasm, the passion of those working with Lubuto, and the support of the local communities and the Zambian government are evidence that Lubuto Libraries are something incredibly powerful.

What I find most inspiring about Lubuto is that children who have lived their lives in the margins suddenly find themselves at the centre - and learn that they deserve to be there. The vitality, openness and beauty of the libraries is such a stark contrast to their daily lives.

Lubuto, like the best libraries around the globe, isn't just about books. The libraries are places of learning, of empowerment – of light. In this environment, children learn – through reading, of course, but also through storytelling, through drama and arts, through motivational mentoring, through computers, and most of all through being in a place that nurtures their creativity, self-confidence and connection to the world.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've met and talked with library users, with the people who make the libraries work on a day-to-day basis, and with many of the people who support the libraries in other ways. Everyone who gets involved with Lubuto - whether by using the library or volunteering or in another way - is changed by it, myself included.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Open more libraries to reach even more children!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

January 9, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

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January 9, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

I was a new librarian, interning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, when I first heard of Lubuto Library Project. Jane presented to staff on the work of Lubuto; her dedication and innovative work, apparent during her presentation, compelled me to volunteer. It's been about a year since I started helping with the email newsletter. It is the most fulfilling volunteer job I have ever had and am so honored to work with Jane, Lubuto staff, and other volunteers.h

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Working with the dedicated staff and other volunteers.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing!

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

We meet in the basement of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 4900 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008, on Sunday afternoons between 3pm and 6pm (except holidays) to catalog and process books for Lubuto Library collections in Africa. The church is just west of Connecticut Avenue across from Politics & Prose Bookstore, and the entrance to the room where we store the Lubuto collection is near the corner of 36th and Everett Streets, N.W., on the side of the church facing Connecticut Ave. We place a sign outside the door to help new volunteers find us. Many people can only come for part of the 3pm-6pm time, which is perfectly fine. inputting of cataloging records may be done remotely as well.We also need volunteers to conduct book drives at their workplace, association or community, using guidelines that we provide for the types of books we include in our collections. We also have a short film that can be used, or could provide a speaker to kick off a book drive. Volunteer