September 30, 2011
The Lubuto Library Project is a unique and special organization, doing amazing work for children that are marginalized and often ignored. One of the things that makes Lubuto Libraries so exceptional is the architecture of the libraries themselves. What struck me about the project when I first learned about it five years ago was the careful thought and consideration that went into the design of the library buildings. A Lubuto Library is more than a repository for books. It is a place of learning and community designed using traditional architectural features and uses of space. Having visited the Lubuto Library at the Fountain of Hope in Lusaka, I can attest to the success of its beauty and design. Lubuto Libraries are unique attractions in the city of Lusaka, and that fact is not lost on the children and teachers who visit them. Lubuto libraries look like no other building in the city and yet many comment that they feel so familiar and welcoming because they remind them of their villages. A Lubuto Library is a place of bustling activity, a place where kids can read in solitude or with friends; where they can gather in a circle and be read to; where they can perform plays or listen to storytellers. The architectural design is a central part of the mission of Lubuto, and communicates to children that their traditional heritage is important and valuable and viable. I haven’t seen any other organization that establishes libraries in Africa do what Lubuto has done, creating beautiful and special buildings with enviable resources for the most vulnerable and marginalized children. Lubuto Library Project is an organization that cares deeply about the communities it serves. It sees the potential in each individual child they reach and offers a place where these kids can begin to imagine a better future.