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Lubuto Library Partners

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, International, International Relief, Libraries

Mission: We provide out-of-school and AIDS-affected orphans and vulnerable children in Africa (beginning in Zambia) safe havens that reconnect them with their culture and society at large while providing opportunities for education, literacy and self-improvement, while raising awareness in the U.S. about the impact of HIV/AIDS on Africa’s children.

Results: Lubuto’s ‘green’ buildings are carefully designed for sustainability. The substantial structures support many community activities and purposes and the particular needs of targeted orphans and vulnerable children (OVC).  Books and equipment can only be used in the libraries, an important sustainability factor.  That the beautiful facilities reflect and preserve indigenous culture inspires pride and emotional investment of community members, a level of cultural sustainability rarely achieved in educational infrastructure.

Target demographics: We serve vulnerable African children and youth, ages 5 - 18, particularly targeting street children, orphaned and out-of-school children and youth.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Each Lubuto Library has more than 50,000 visits per year. The primary beneficiaries of the Lubuto Library Project are OVCY in targeted communities (identified in consultation with government and local authorities), including street children, out-of-school youth, OVCY who have experienced trauma, and those living in dire, isolated or exploitive circumstances.

Geographic areas served: SubSaharan Africa

Programs: Reading and Preservation Program, Zambian Language Literacy Program, Motivational Mentoring Program, OLPC XO Laptop Program, Drama Program, Reading Program, Visual Arts Program, Early Childhood Programming Teen Program

Community Stories

99 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lubuto Library Partners has proven to be a flexible, adaptable model that shapes its services around the needs of the community. One of the things that stood out to me the most as a volunteer was the emphasis placed on technology. Even in the rural libraries, Lubuto strives to provide computer access and valuable technology skills to the community. This technology has been used as a vector for providing online literacy lessons in native Zambian languages, breaking traditional gender norms, and expediting equity in the community. I am beyond thankful for the impact Lubuto has made on many Zambian communities and to have been a part of this impact myself.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A wonderful nonprofit that takes care to engage with the communities around their libraries, learning how to best serve each location.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lubuto libraries are extraordinary! They are constantly learning and growing to meet the needs of the children and youth that they serve. In doing this, they help marginalized children to grasp their humanity and youth from the community to join together, gaining life skills and joy in programs ranging from drama and art to computers and chess. Lubuto's programs are also keeping teenage girls in school, supporting the development of career goals, and keeping them HIV/AIDS-free. Lubuto libraries save lives and help create a better future.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have visited the Lubuto Libraries and seen the joy on the faces of children for whom they are portals to the larger world, and oases in which they can share the simple pleasures of reading with friends, learning new skills, and finding a productive path in life. For some vulnerable children they have been the difference between hopelessness and hope. They are cherished by their users and communities.

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1 Jeanne M.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the Board this year, but have known about Lubuto Library Partner's work in Zambia for many years. Several years, I "dropped in" the Lusaka Library in Lusaka and was very impressed with the engagement of the staff, the friendly environment, and the variety of programs that were offered. I just thought what a great place for children to have so they can explore the world beyond their own sphere. Lubuto Library Partners is so much more than just a collection of books, and there is such a need for the kinds of programs that Lubuto implements to address the needs of the forgotten children around the world. After retiring from over 30 years in health and research training projects, I was pleased to be asked to join as a board member to help to support its work.

1 Kenlee R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Although I’ve been on Lubuto’s Advisory Board since 2013 I visited Lusaka for the first time in July and actually saw my contributions at work. I volunteered in four very different Lubuto settings: Lubuto headquarters, the new Mthunzi Library on the outskirts of Lusaka, Ngwerere Library in the Garden Compound of Lusaka and the rural Mumuni Library outside Monze. Whatever the setting, the adage that “Libraries built communities” was clearly evident as staff engaged kids, teens and young mothers in games, story time, drama and mentoring sessions. The Lubuto staff were wonderful to work with and their dedication and enthusiasm are infectious.

I saw the DREAMS program at work and participated in mentoring and training sessions. I talked with some of the girls in the DREAMS program and was so moved when they told me what having a $230 DREAMS scholarship means to them and their families and how finishing high school will change their lives

Thank you Lubuto staff, volunteers and donors for making a difference.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently started volunteering at Lubuto Library Partners. From the moment I viewed their website, I was in awe. I am amazed by their mission and their holistic view on education. Lubuto Library Partners educates children in Zambia through their accessibility to children's books, visual arts, and technology. I have found great promise for the growth and enlightenment of the children in Zambia through the work of Lubuto Library Partners. As I searched through the photographs online, I noticed the genuine smiles of the children in Zambia. Their expressions share a love for learning. I highly respect this nonprofit organization and am excited to see what they have planned for the future.

1 Stacy P.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked in children's libraries for a long time now and from experience I can tell you that from the book selection process to what programs Lubuto is providing to the children of Zambia that they are doing things right. The children in Zambia and helping them in long lasting ways that will change each individual child's future is absolutely their focus and they are achieving amazing results.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learnt about Lubuto Library partners in September 2015 on an online publication and was impressed with the services they offered to promote education to vulnerable children.

Many organisations focus on promoting and empowering people who have prior exposure to formal education, but Lubuto goes to the root of the problem by giving opportunities to marginalised children to fit into society through programs like visual and performing arts, mentoring programs, scholarships, fun and educational games and many more products.

Volunteering with Lubuto has been an amazing experience for me as I got to see, children from different backgrounds interact, share ideas, learn to read and write and discover their talents through the various programs.

Lubuto has a friendly environment for children and all users regardless of the age and social background.

Joseph M. Phiri.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have seen what Lubuto Libraries are doing in Zambia for vulnerable children most especially at Ngwerere Library. They provide free access to information resources and in addition provide literacy lessons free of charge to children and youth needing the service. One special offer is that no membership fee is paid to use the services and this is great for vulnerable users. In addition, LLP has worked closely with the Library and Information Association of Zambia to ensure that we build capacity of public librarians in Zambia on how to provide quality library services to children.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lubuto is great! The work they do with children is amazing. They provide a space for children to gather, create, and learn and they provide the mentorship necessary to help the students thrive.

From scholarships to classes to books, Lubuto Libraries does it all. And a special shout out to volunteer Ed, who is one of the greatest resources that Lubuto Library Partners has. The children love him, he mobilizes volunteers, raises money, and teaches the students everything from music to life skills to just being a good person. To put it simply, Ed is great, as is Lubuto Libraries.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few months ago, I decided to volunteer at Lubuto, not knowing much about the organization except that they worked with children. But with the help of the open, understanding librarian, it did not take long before I felt a part of the team, and felt equiped to contribute. You learn quickly that it is more than just a library as there are a lot of social issues that the employees have to deal with. The persistence and resilience in the children is so inspiring. By the time I was leaving, I recognized the important role that this organization plays. The library is a place for the kids to learn, to be creative through art and drama, to learn good attitudes to life, it is a safe place, it allows children from different backgrounds to interact(kids from the community with homeless children), the children get to expand their imagination of what they are capable of and what is available for them in the encouragement from staff and the ideas from the books they read. The awesome librarian helped the children with homework, helped them prepare for tests, advised them when they were naughty, tried by all means to convince the ones that wanted to drop out of school to stay!.... I am eternally grateful for the eye opening experience

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have come to know Lubuto Library as a nonprofit organisation that offers massive opportunities to the underprivileged children and out of school youths as well as all disadvantaged young people have access to knowledge and information by establishing Library services. they provide extensively broad, lifelong benefits through out Africa.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I continue to be impressed by this organization and the impact they are making. The staff of Lubuto is devoted to the mission and they never forget the individuals and communities they are serving. Lubuto Libraries are truly unique places and become destinations wherever they are built. I love the section on the website called Voices of Lubuto because it gives me a chance to see and hear directly from the patrons themselves and confirms that the work of this organization is making a huge difference. The dedication and vision of the leadership is a constant source of inspiration.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Lubuto is doing libraries are supposed to do: not just serve. Solve! This organization and its leadership are committed to solving tough issues facing Zambia's marginalized children ever-vigilant to respect and uplift the local culture. It is truly a great nonprofit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I serve as a volunteer for Lubuto Library Partners. I enjoy the community of volunteers and Board Members, and recall even receiving the insight of the actual architect of the libraries in Zambia once at our gathering. It is a joy to label and catalog the books in an ever improving database system and to place the books into delightful categories. The organization continually strives to utilize top professional lists of library books so as to have the best of the best for the children and young mothers in Zambia. In addition, the many activities at the libraries in Zambia engage the youth in unique ways to build community.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

In May 2016, I visited a Lubuto Library in Lusaka, Zambia. I was pleased to witness the important role these libraries play in poor communities, particularly among vulnerable children. They provide a supportive environment for learning and recreation. They also give hope to communities that may not have access to good libraries.
Lubuto libraries play an important role in the dissemination of HIV/AIDS literature, and providing community based support to affected groups. The needs are huge and the number of vulnerable children continues to grow. A better resourced Lubuto Library will certainly provide better support to vulnerable children.

1 Karina V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

That is a wonderful job!!!
It was a great privilege to have had the opportunity to help this nonprofit cataloging books for collections needing updating in Zambia.
May God continue to bless this great work of Lubuto Library Partners!

1 Anne142

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently began volunteering for the Lubuto Library Partners in DC helping to process materials. It is a privilege to be able to help prepare all of this wonderful children's literature for the Lubuto libraries. The Sunday afternoon volunteer group is a pleasure to work with and I am awed by everyone's dedication and knowledge.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shy smiles and big grins: It's a pleasure to see pictures of the children who, though they might have experienced a lot of bad luck in the past, now enjoy some very good luck: they have access to one of the libraries and community centers that Lubuto has built and furnished. For many of these young patrons, this is a life-changing experience. Books! Computers! Art! And in beautiful traditional buildings designed just for them. Lubuto exemplifies a small non-profit that is a great non-profit, able to do amazing things.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the most impressive things about this organization is the amount it accomplishes with a tiny headquarters staff: one full-time person and the equivalent of one half-time person. The full-timer happens to be, of course, an incredibly dedicated, hard-working, indefatigable person, founder Jane Meyers, who could probably be counted as two. This kind of dedication rubs off on those who work with her; volunteers want to do their best for Lubuto, also. It all adds up to a wonderfully efficient non-profit.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with Lubuto for about three years to gain cataloging experience and fill time during a job search period. Although work and other life demands often keep me from doing as much as I'd like, I continue to come back to Lubuto because of the wonderful service it provides to the children of Zambia. Reading the stories of the children Lubuto Libraries help shows the importance of libraries as places of learning, community, and opportunity. Lubuto truly embodies what libraries are for, and I'm privileged to be able to help in the small ways I can.