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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: Lubuto Library Partners is an innovative development organization that builds the capacity of public libraries to create opportunities for equitable education and poverty reduction. Its mission is to enlighten and enrich the lives of children and youth in sub-Saharan Africa, especially those not in school and highly vulnerable. Lubuto constructs enduring open-access libraries whose design is inspired by traditional and contemporary social, economic and cultural patterns and which freely offer comprehensive collections of well-chosen books and technology resources. These libraries serve as safe havens and are the center for dynamic library programming offering education, psychosocial support and self-expression through reading, music, art, drama, computers, mentoring and other activities. Lubuto maintains a continuous monitoring and evaluation learning relationship for children and youth library services. The impressive track record of the growing network of Lubuto libraries, owned and operated by Zambian organizations, provides a model poised to scale regionally. Sustainability has been central to all aspects of Lubuto's model since inception.

Results: The problem: The HIV/AIDS pandemic, conflict, systemic breakdown and poverty have left millions of African youth isolated from their communities and cast off. Looking forward, exponential population growth threatens to overwhelm the capacity to support the exploding numbers of children, including those with disabilities. Lubuto, teaming up with community-based programs has pioneered a model for addressing the problems of specific communities and countries. In the time since its founding as a grassroots initiative, Lubuto Library Partners has maintained a constant focus on learning from experience to increasingly meet its goals. With three currently operating libraries, the headline figures—over 1.5 million visits by 140,000 children, and over 20,000 program participants—point to both the extraordinary need and the potential for meeting it. The libraries, which are far and away the most heavily used in Zambia, have supported over 6,000 marginalized children and youth, and provided life-changing mentoring to more than 3,500 adolescents, including programs that kept over 1,500 girls in school and HIV/AIDS-free. Programs for young mothers and the deaf have brought neglected populations out of the shadows and into opportunities for growth. Lubuto knows its beneficiaries and has hundreds of stories to share about the lives it has changed for the better. Building on the foundation that it had established, Lubuto successfully pioneered the use of public libraries as a platform for programs that keep adolescent girls in school and HIV/AIDS-free with the support of a PEPFAR/DREAMS Innovation Challenge grant. Supported by this grant, we exceeded our target for re-enrolling girls in school by 172% and contributed to retaining in school all of the girls with whom we worked. We maintained, over a 2-year period, a 100% HIV testing and counseling referral completion rate by offering on-site testing and counseling. This experience also demonstrated the effectiveness of Lubuto Libraries as a platform for identifying excellent candidates for school scholarship support and for outreach aimed at reducing the vulnerability of teenage girls to transactional sex, and for changing views on gender-based violence.

Target demographics: We serve vulnerable African children and youth, ages 0 - 25, particularly targeting street children, young mothers and infants, 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, starting in Zambia and soon to expand to Malawi

Programs: 3 times per week sign language storytimes Zambian Language Literacy Program English-language literacy program Family literacy program with childcare for young mothers Health and HIV programming Role model mentoring Technology & internet programming including information and digital literacy, coding Film screenings Drama Daily read-aloud program Visual arts Early childhood program Teen program

Community Stories

134 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There need to be many more Lubuto libraries. The thousands of children who flock to the existing libraries provide daily evidence of their ability to lift children out of the grit of their daily lives into the world of larger ideas, creativity, and empowerment -- keeping teenage girls in school and HIV/AIDS-free, coding camps, helping to prevent child marriages, supporting literacy acquisition, storytelling for the hearing-impaired and deaf, mentoring, outreach to marginalized children, art and drama programs...The wonderful postings on Voices of Lubuto (www.lubuto.org/voices-of-lubuto) show the extraordinary range of knowledge and support that this organization brings to the children the libraries serve. Every child in southern Africa should be able to call a Lubuto library their own.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lubuto Library Parters is a great nonprofit. They have dedicated volunteers and board members who commit themselves to their mission. Having access to a public library and a multitude of books is so vital for a child's educational growth and development. Lubuto is giving these children access to such a valuable tool and I cannot emphasize how important this nonprofit is!

Donor

Rating: 5

Lubuto Libraries fosters a culture of family literacy and community by providing free instruction, access to materials, and mentoring for these at-risk children and youth. The Lubuto Libraries partner with existing regional services to increase not only the health and well-being of the community but also the odds of escaping the intergenerational cycle of poverty. As a donor, I am privileged to give the gift of reading, my childhood passion, and the joy of going to the library, selecting the next adventure, and getting lost in the pages of a book.

Board Member

Rating: 5

From the beginning, Lubuto Library Partners envisioned bringing enlightenment to orphaned and vulnerable children in Zambia. Introducing stories to the orphaned street children, many of whom had no access to books, school, caregivers, or any safe support systems, was more than a diversion from their desperate lives. It was an assurance that they are important and deserving of every opportunity to find knowledge and light; to achieve their full potential.

After 15 years of creating and expanding specialized programs in literacy, art, drama, music, technology and mentoring, Lubuto has established a track record of achievement that is remarkable for a small nonprofit. Beyond the construction of beautiful library buildings serving both urban and rural communities of Zambia, Lubuto has delivered effective programs that engage thousands of children and youth. Lubuto libraries and the staff provide a safe and nurturing environment where kids learn about their culture, their place in the wider world, discover new skills, and are offered mentoring that reinforces their confidence and awareness of how to relate to others.

As a nonprofit organization, Lubuto Library Partners is not alone in being excellent at what it does. It is singular, however, in its vision of using libraries as a model for delivering solutions to the particular problems of children and youth in Zambia and beyond. The Lubuto concept of open access public libraries as critical points of service has a demonstrated record of positive impact on the lives it touches.



Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Being part of Lubuto Library Partners' growth over the years and seeing first-hand the impact of Lubuto's programs on Zambian children's lives strengthened my commitment to our mission to change lives through child-friendly, culture-specific, and well-equipped learning spaces all through Sub-Saharan Africa.

What’s special about Lubuto libraries? It's about libraries doing what good libraries do best.

Connecting children with the world through books, art, dance, drama, technology, and socialization.

Championing the rights of all children to secure safe spaces where they can dream a better future and realize their potential.

Creating learning environments that empower all children, but especially the neglected and marginalized, to appreciate their culture and participate in society.

Developing programs that help children develop healthy attitudes, minds and bodies in order to thrive as they deserve.

I believe that the successes of Lubuto Library Partners in modeling programs and services for --Reading as the foundation for education and literacy --Technology as a tool for learning; --Mentoring programs as activities for self-esteem and confidence --Storytelling, art, and drama as expressions of history and culture --Partnerships with local communities for sustainability and outreach and --Promotion of healthy behaviors and norms, is unmatched in libraries outside of the U.S.

I am so proud of this small, energetic, committed organization that has demonstrated how libraries can make a real difference for thousands of young people.

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Adam H.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This non-profit changes lives. Whether it is through improved literacy, providing a safe place to learn, or through their dynamic music and drama programs - Lubuto has touched the hearts and minds of thousands of well-deserving children. The team is infectiously passionate about Lubuto's vision and that shows in their spirit for the kids.

1 Samantha H.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the summer of 2019, I served as an intern at Lubuto Library Partners' model library in Lusaka. My primary responsibility was working with the Family Literacy program coordinator to create an Early Childhood Education/Early Literacy curriculum that focused on movement, music and STEM activities for the library's youngest patrons. I was fortunate enough to work closely with the staff to plan activities, present programming to the children and document our work in a curriculum that will become available to Lubuto's other libraries. The most significant piece of my daily internship responsibilities was building relationships with the staff and library patrons, therefore learning the value of the library for this community.

This experience was a fantastic introduction to the field of international librarianship. I was able to see the daily operations as well as the extensive administrative and international development knowledge it takes to run a community library in an African country through an American non-governmental organization. Professionally, I was given space to grow my knowledge around early literacy and early childhood education and put it into practice with young patrons. I was also challenged to present programming in English, the official but non-native language of Zambia, and either work with a translator/co-presenter or use other teaching techniques to present the information clearly.

One of the most rewarding parts was working directly with a Lubuto model library staff member, Brendah, and learning from her. We both brought activity ideas to the table, tried them together with kids and made decisions on what to include in the curriculum. Watching Brendah get as excited about the "magic milk" experiment as me, helped to form a connection right from the start. It was great to see her utilizing her Early Childhood Education coursework. We both learned a great deal from one another.

Another rewarding part was a daily occurrence - instances of observing children truly benefitting from the presence of this library. Whether it be during a STEM program, storytime or just reading/playing in the space, there were constantly children and youth engaged in language/reading development and learning. I received questions from teens about post-secondary steps. I observed children working together to solve a computer game puzzle. The library was even available to provide physical engagement and development in the form of soccer games and dance classes to support the kids' interests. Everywhere you turned someone was enjoying their time in the library.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lubuto library partners has helped contribute positively to the community in Zambia with the low rates of reading culture among young people, the libraries help by reaching out to the community by providing free library and literacy programs to both young and adults. I hope to see more libraries been built in different communities so that young people can develop a reading culture. This may in turn help reduce on the high prevailing rates of drug abuse and illiteracy levels among young people in Zambian communities.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization focuses on utilizing public libraries to not only encourage literacy, but also connect under-served and vulnerable youth with services and community. Lubuto Library Partners has a strong connection to the communities it works in and engages local individuals to ensure that the libraries are sustainable and truly meet the community's needs.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've known about Lubuto for almost two years now and in the time that I've been aware of them and following their work, I've been continually impressed. Their mission to bring enlightenment to vulnerable children in Africa is admirable, and the work that they do at the libraries fulfills that mission. More than being just books in a room, the opportunities Lubuto provides for vulnerable populations make a huge difference in the lives of those kids, and they are continuously striving to do even better. I'm very careful about which nonprofit organizations I support, and I wholeheartedly believe that Lubuto is doing incredible work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lubuto Library Partners is an incredible organization that supports, celebrates and empowers young people in Africa in countless ways. The libraries provide children with a home where all are welcome and offer a variety of transformative programs, such as mentoring, literacy and coding. From fighting HIV/AIDS to working to end child marriage to most recently providing vital resources and opportunities for enrichment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lubuto has been there for the past 15 years to help tackle the most pressing issues. So many children who would have otherwise slipped through the cracks in society have been lifted up by Lubuto's caring staff and volunteers, who are extremely engaging and passionate about what they do, and who serve as truly inspiring role models. As a former employee I was lucky enough to have the chance to go to Zambia and visit three Lubuto Libraries. They were all buzzing with energy, and the children were so proud of their libraries and eager to make full use of all of the opportunities offered. Thanks to Lubuto so many young people now see their dreams as attainable.

Travis F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lubuto is a wonderful organization. Their commitment to children is absolute. From literacy to health education (be it HIV or COVID-19), Lubuto adapts, evolves, and finds ways to meaningfully support the children they serve. I have given monthly to Lubuto for 16 years, and I consider it a privilege to support them even in this small way. They make me proud to be a librarian.

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1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am consistently impressed by Lubuto.

- They are dedicated to the children they serve.

- Innovative in their programming. (I’m incredibly impressed by their efforts fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS. That’s just a year old. There was a growth in the rate of infection in young girls, and they were Johnny-on-the-Spot fighting back.)

- Have earned my trust. I have donated for almost ten years, and I earnestly believe that every penny I donate is used to the fullest.

- They make me proud to be a librarian and a human being. They help a lot of kids.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lubuto Library Partners is a deeply impactful organization. Its genius is not just serving as a building containing books -- many buildings have books -- but that it is a convening force, a safe space for kids in and out of school, and one that offers services in health, and education, and vocational training, and and and and and. I'm deeply proud of the work they do, and grateful to play a small role in supporting their efforts. 5/5 recommend.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a librarian with knowledge of the challenges faced by countries just developing public library services and I have been a supporter of Lubuto Library Partners for a long time. The organization focuses on the most vulnerable children in Zambia and offers them so much. I have been impressed with the range of services, beyond reading and books, including mentoring, art and drama, and a variety of other skills training. Lubuto is an organization with an amazing reach. I joined the Board to help Lubuto continue its amazing work.

Briannamakobo

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Came to know Lubuto library through their partnership in Monze's mumuni libraries, this loving family has taught me a lot and I have been well acquainted with knowledge and encouraged with stories.

Comments ( 1 )

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lubuto-library-project 08/27/2019

So happy that you are part of the loving family of Mumuni/Lubuto libraries, Brian! I hope I get a chance to meet you in person some day. Jane Meyers

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have known Lubuto Library Partners for over a period of five years now and have been privileged to conduct an evaluation report on their behalf in the year 2017. Last year, 2018, my students, who were studying for Bachelor of Arts and Library and Information Science at the University of Zambia, conducted a survey of Lubuto Model Library titled An evaluation of children and youths usage of the Lubuto Model Library services. This was their fourth year project.

Lubuto libraries offer unique facilities, resources and services to our underprivileged children and youth. These libraries have proven to be safe havens where our children and youth are provided with opportunities to rediscover themselves, develop high self-esteem, get reconnected to their families, communities and education systems. The facilities, information resources, and services provided by Lubuto libraries are oases that satisfy the various needs of the children and youth, thus enabling them grow in all spheres of life including the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains. The youth are empowered with survival skills which are critical in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, high levels of unemployment, and increasing hostile environment.

Whenever I have an opportunity to visit a Lubuto library I marvel at the high degree of enthusiasm, passion, engagement, and enjoyment displayed by the children and youth; there is no room for idleness; there is no dull moment. How I wish every village and community in every corner of this country had a Lubuto library! Lubuto libraries are a national heritage and as such need to be cherished and supported.

I salute and highly commend the Lubuto staff for their unparalleled level of commitment and professionalism.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lubuto changes children's lives.

I've seen first-hand the incredible impact that Lubuto makes on the lives of street kids. I poignantly remember a boy of about 10 living in an abandoned car with several other boys who were about 13. I met these boys during one of Lubuto's outreach walkabouts. We read to them and told them about the Lubuto library where they could participate in programs and find access to the help they needed to get off the streets. The older boys asked us to take the "little guy" to the library to help him. We did and we found him the help that he needed. A life changed.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was fortunate enough to travel to Zambia and visit first-hand all of the Lubuto libraries. The staff is amazingly dedicated to the Lubuto mission and to changing the lives of children. One of my most poignant and moving experiences was watching one of our librarians on a walkabout in outreach to street kids. He really helped the street kids realize the value of the Lubuto libraries in improving their lot in life. I learned later that this librarian was a former street kid himself and, in his words, "turned his life around because of Lubuto." Lubuto libraries not only change the lives of children but that of the families and the community.

I am proud and humbled to be part of an organization that impacts lives so positively.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have known about Lubuto and supported its efforts for more than ten years and have serve on the Board for many of those years. The thing that sets Lubuto apart from many other organizations is the steadfast vision provided by Jane Meyers and translated into the myriad of Board members, volunteers, professional staff and those in advisory roles who work to support and extend that vision into practical, effective programs. While remaining true to the central vision of helping children, especially vulnerable at-risk children, use books, art, literacy and mentoring programs to reach their potential, Lubuto has been remarkably effective and flexible in adapting to opportunities and circumstances as they present themselves. Partnering with global, national and local programs to provide high quality libraries which model programs and behaviors that meet and exceed the highest standards found anywhere in the world.

The energy, optimism, quality and vision of Lubuto Library Partners is an exemplary model which can and should be exported widely across Africa and in other parts of the globe where the intrinsic power of libraries as a community resource can enact powerful change.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lubuto Library Partners (LLP) is an excellent example of the role libraries can play in creating and sustaining community centers focussed on children and youth in developing countries. These libraries provide safe places for at-risk youth, HIV orphans, street children and others to learn, read, use computers, participate in the arts and otherwise grow and thrive in a culturally-sensitive environment. Lubuto is a prime example of how to make these community centers work and is a model for sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Kudos to Jane Kinney Meyers and her vision, leadership and energy in making all the moving parts work together.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have followed Lubuto since meeting Jane Kinney Meyers over 15 years ago and hearing about her plans which have since far exceeded my (and perhaps her) expectations. As a librarian with many years experience in international development I can well appreciate the desperate need for libraries like Lubuto's to help street kids in particular and the whole community to learn, feel connected, thrive, and be safe. I have been so impressed with the growth of the programs offered in the libraries and the number now constructed or planned. It is a great example of cooperation with the host communities. And unlike many development organizations Lubuto listens to the needs of the community and helps them to bring them to fruition vs. swooping in with preset plans. They don't just dump miscellaneous used books on them, but choose the books most needed and relevant and in the best condition. In communities decimated by HIV and poverty Lubuto is a bright light and the stories of the kids who have blossomed in the libraries are heartwarming. Lubuto operates with very low overhead and I am happy to be a sustaining (monthly) donor because I know that every penny goes to good use. If you love the power of reading and libraries, and/or have an interest in Africa or development please consider contributing to this very deserving NGO.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The AIDs epidemic in Africa has left so many children neglected - if their parents are alive and unable to care for them - or orphaned - if their parents have died. In addition, girls and disadvantaged youths are often ignored or held back for any number of reasons. Lubuto Libraries create a safe and caring environment for constructive learning. This is a necessity and thankfully Jane Kinney Myers and the Lubuto Library Partners are putting their hearts and souls into keeping this amazing organization alive and well for children and youth in need.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a development specialist working in the education sector and I have known of Lubuto since 2010. I first visited a Lubuto Library in 2011 and I was impressed with the concept and more so that they were located in the "belly" of a community whose needs they were serving. Over the years I have been impressed with the steady expansion of the organisation without losing its focus on the most need and vulnerable.

More recently, I have become a board member of Lubuto Library helping to strengthen the capacity of the team to manage the programme. This new role has given me insights into the nature of the organisation and particularly the work that volunteers do to raise funds to keep the work of Lubuto in Zambia going. This is humbling as the communities that are served would never have the opportunity to access the high quality services they receive. Lubuto is a development concept which awakens communities in slumber and gets them noticed.

Board Member

Rating: 5

For many years, I have been following Lubuto Library Partners' work remotely as an educationist and through my contacts with Jane. Now that I am working closely with them as the first chairperson for the Local Board, I have had the opportunity to look from the inside and see first hand and get deeper understanding of the amazing work they do. I find the LLP model to be unique in the sense that it is based on partnership with government and local communities for sustainability and cost effectiveness and that it targets excluded children such as those with disabilities, orphans and street children.
My first direct contact with the library was when we held the first meeting for the local board in the Ngwerere Library located at Ngwerere School right in the heart of the under resourced Garden township. I was awed by the number of children inside and around the library area, an indication that there was a force/magnet drawing the children to the area and going inside the library, there was no doubt in my mind as to why this was the case. The conducive and welcoming atmosphere reflected in the sparks in the children's eyes as they held books in their hands some of the them for the first time. In my interactions with the children, I learnt that most of the children came to the library because in addition to reading, they had an opportunity to work on a computer, listen to stories told in their local language, watch videos and to play and just be children. The libraries are therefore more than just places for reading. They are community centers providing safe spaces for programs to keep children out of mischief and a platform for keeping them in school. I am excited at the opportunity to chair the local board of this robust and credible organization which is contributing to reducing illiteracy and improving learning outcomes the reading culture of vulnerable children and youth. I congratulate the staff and the volunteers for their dedication and commitment to supporting the work of Lubuto.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lubuto Library Project-Partners is a valuable initiative which provide access to information to the vulnerable children in Zambia who would under normal circumstances not have had a chance to gain access to information due to deteriorating library and educational services in Zambia. Lubuto provide this information by taking the information services to the door steps of such children. All Lubuto Public libraries are located in carefully selected places where they are needed most. I recently visited one of the Lubuto Libraries in Garden Compound in Lusaka and was thrilled by the conducive environment provided by the library to the young underleveraged children whom seemed to have been more at home at Lubuto Libraries than any other place. The young people were playing, reading and doing all sorts of activities which go a long way in improving their educational standards in the process keeping them away from illicit activities. It is not an exaggeration to say that Lubuto Library partners are indeed contributing to raising a responsible generation of young people in Zambia. Well done Jane for these services as Zambia looks forward to more such public libraries build.
Benson Njobvu
Past President of Library and Information Association of Zambia, Past Head of Department at the University of Zambia Department of Library and Information Science and currently Lecturer in the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Zambia.

Jeanne M.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been supporting Lubuto Library Partners (LLP) for many years, and have become more aware of the breadth and scope of their activities as a Board member over the past two years. LLP supports many activities to reach the underserved and vulnerable children and adolescents in its libraries in Lusaka and rural Zambia. I continue to be amazed at the creativity of the LLP President, LLP staff and LLP organizations in Zambia as they implement new activities. For example, LLP uses the library as a meeting place to expose these children to their own culture (e.g. storytelling and literacy skills in seven local languages) and to new ideas with access to computers and computer skills. LLP has extended its reach to deaf children by offering sign language training so that deaf children are not left behind. LLP Mentoring Program provides opportunity for vulnerable Zambian children and adolescents to meet successful Zambian professional to help them to expand their horizons as to their future. I believe that the investments that LLP is making in Zambia are truly making a difference.

Previous Stories
3

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

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lubuto Library Partners is an inspirational organization! Thoughout my five years on Lubuto's Board of Directors, I have been so impressed by Lubuto's unwavering commitment to serve vulnerable children by providing opportunities for kids to continue to grow, learn, and thrive. I am consistently awed by the deep respect for the rights of all children sits at the heart of Lubuto's mission. Thanks to Lubuto's dedicated and talented staff and volunteers, the libraries consistently offer high quality programs that meet the needs of the kids we serve - through carefully-designed books collections, participation in drama and art, and building computer skills. Lubuto means "light", and Lubuto changes lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having volunteered at Lubuto Library Partners the past few months, it has be an amazing experience because i have had a chance to work on various activities which include my favorite hobby which is photography, i was given the opportunity to practice my photography by taking pictures at the various activities which happen not just at the library but also at schools where Lubuto had running programs. Aside from that i was given a chance to work with adolescent girls for a book club that happens at the Model Library. Lubuto gave me chance to learn how to work with a different computer program for data entry which in turn helped me acquire a new skill. Lubuto is doing an excellent job in improving literacy levels and among boys, girls and young mothers and allowing them to express themselves and become empowered and i am happy to be part of such a big project that continues to change the lives of people in communities and a learning process for me as an individual.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked as a volunteer for Lubuto Library Partners under the DREAMS Family Literacy Program since May 2017, an experience I will cherish forever. As a fresh graduate with no prior work experience, I never thought that I would be given an opportunity to work as a volunteer for such a huge project. For the past one year, I have gained experience that I would probably have never gotten from any other organisation. Lubuto Library Partners is doing an amazing job in the lives of many young mothers who had lost hope after getting pregnant while in school. However, many of them now have the motivation they need to go back to school and finish their high school and all this is thanks to Lubuto Library Partners.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have an amazing chance to volunteer with Lubuto Libraries. And i must applaud them for the amazing work they are doing with the kids and young women. Indeed we need more initiatives like this one to help groom our children, who are the future.
I enjoy every minute spent at the library, being someone who is passionate about helping kids.

Thank you Lubuto Libraries for your great work, keep it up!

Marjorie G.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

During a career break in 2009 I contacted Jane to enquire about volunteering opportunities. Within a few hours we were chatting on the phone and soon after I was on my way to Lusaka! I had the privilege to work in the Fountain of Hope branch (the only Lubuto library at the time) for a few months and witness first hand the impact of the programs on children's lives. Jane was (and still is) a visionary leader, and her passion is a common thread throughout the organization. Since 2009 I have been in awe of the successful growth and expansion of Lubuto Partners. The innovative ideas abound - Lubuto Libraries are right on trend with what we do in my area! This is an amazing nonprofit that is doing everything right. I support them since 2009 and continue with no hesitation every year because the important work they do is done so well.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The actual books are only the surface of Lubuto. Behind every book is a heaping respect for the needs of the children who read them. Every book that Lubuto offers is deliberately researched and chosen to match the developmental stages of the children. And Lubuto offers more than books, providing a community that responds to the interests and needs that present themselves.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been following Jane Meyer’s dream for her Lubuto Libraries almost from its inception. Her overarching concern from the start was to make her dream one that would blend in with Zambian culture. This included the staffing and other personnel resources, the architecture, the books and other media, the specific needs of the communities the libraries are serving. Education in many forms has also been a driving force and her accomplishments, and those of the skillful staff implementing all the creative ideas generated are reflected in the success of the children who avail themselves of all that is offered. One of my favorite outcomes is the current librarian working in one of the libraries who once was a student there—proof positive that the Lubuto Libraries are fulfilling the original dream of Jane Meyers. I am happy to be a donor and will continue to be as long as I can.

1 Marc H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In their new book, Our Towns, James Fallows and Deborah Fallows write that "[in]side public libraries…you see the people, programs, problems, and answers that offer a genuine look in to the heart and soul of a town." This quote resonates when I think of Lubuto’s mission and the inspiring work it has done to strengthen and empower communities in Zambia. It’s been privilege these past few years to help bring the uplifting stories and images from Lubuto to an audience around the world and illuminate the common threads that unite us all.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became aware of the Lubuto Library Project in the summer of 2012. Jane Meyers’ energy and enthusiasm for the Project was instantly infectious and I was excited to lend a hand with their digital marketing outreach. It's been a pleasure to work with the Lubuto team. Their focus and camaraderie has been inspiring and I've been moved by the positive impact the Project's work is having on the lives of Zambian street children. It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to play (a small) part in a project that is so clearly a big force in changing people's lives by providing access to resources previously unavailable.

1 Brandy K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What I appreciate most about Lubuto Library Partners is that the founder, Jane Kinney Meyers, is a librarian. She knows how to effectively use donations not only to build physical structures, but to imbue those structures with the people, materials and processes that can transform libraries into community centers offering tools for health, education, inspiration and healing.

1 Writer

Donor

Rating: 5

I met Jane Meyers almost 10 years ago and was immediately struck by her dedication and professionalism. As founder of the Lubuto Library Partners, she has worked diligently to change the lives of the orphaned and vulnerable in Zambia through exposure to library services. I trusted with my daughter, who volunteered for her in Lusaka for almost a year. I've personally seen the difference Lubuto makes in children's lives by visiting the Lusaka library and meeting the children there. It has been my pleasure to host a fundraiser for Lubuto and to donate for years. The world would be a better place with more Jane Kinney Meyers'.

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

2

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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3

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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2 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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2

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.

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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.

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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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2

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.

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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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Lubuto for the better part of this year, working on the Zambian Heritage Library project, in particular. One of the things that struck me the most when I first began volunteering was the commitment to ensuring that the youths at the libraries had access to local language materials that were culturally relevant. An assurance of content is not something you see with most library projects. Furthermore, a commitment to the preservation and access of endangered cultural heritage materials is truly going above their call of duty - but it is much needed and appreciated.

2 Greg71

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Lubuto a year ago because it sounded interesting, and I thought it would be a good way to gain some cataloging experience (to supplement what I'd learned in classes). I kept volunteering because I was immediately struck by the genuine nature of the organization. Their goals are important, their methods are well-thought-out, and their warm welcome of new volunteers is impressive. I'm proud to help out with Lubuto and look forward to continuing to do so for the foreseeable future.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a proud volunteer for Lubuto Library Partners, volunteering directly with the Ngwerere library in the Garden community. When I first arrived, I immediately found the library to be a welcoming and nuturing space for the youth to read and be read to; study; learn and play games; access and learn how to use computers; socialize; develop friendships; and so much more. Lubuto also offers a number of programs such as Arts, Drama, Mentoring, and Outreach. The programs are so valuable for the helping the youth express themselves, develop their talents, and get exposure to the arts.

The staff at Ngwerere are awesome! And extremely attentive to the needs of the children. I have accompanied two members of the staff, Besa and Harrison, on their weekly community outreach a few times. They were brilliant in engaging the children with stories and the books they brought along. They also explained the library services to adults, building interest and even fielding difficult questions from the skeptical parents.

In my short time as a volunteer I've heard first hand from several youth about how the library has made a huge impact in their lives. They have found a new community at the library, one of hope, encouragement, and opportunity.

Lubuto Libraries are truly a valuable and integral resource for vulnerable children in Zambia, who otherwise not have access to educational materials /services or a safe enviroment to be empowered.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the good fortune to volunteer for Lubuto Library Partners (LLP) briefly in 2015, as part of a fieldwork assignment for library school. LLP is a labor of love, but founder Jane Meyers brings to the work many years of experience in libraries and in Africa.

As a result, LLP's libraries are engaging, meaningful, and relevant to Zambians. The facilities are welcoming spaces based on traditional Zambian architecture, and are stocked with new volumes already cataloged according to the customized Lubuto Classification System. LLP carefully recruits and trains local staff, who provide programs based both on local tradition and modern educational theory.

LLP would not exist, let alone thrive, without Jane. Even as a student volunteer working a handful of hours, I felt like a valued member of the LLP team. This is a testament not to my awesome talents, but to her powerful leadership skills. She understands that one person can accomplish far more by connecting many people with common interests. I feel honored to have worked with Jane and I hope I can continue to help LLP in the future.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud to have been able to contribute as a volunteer to Lubuto. This is a small organization with a big heart and lofty ambitions, which has already seen a lot of success in transforming Zambian communities that have been plagued by extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The passion they have for empowering African children and youth is evident in their focus on providing only the highest quality services and resources. Having helped with graphics for Lubuto's recent rebranding efforts, I was able to see first hand how forward-looking Lubuto is, always looking to new technologies and programs to ensure their work can achieve the greatest impact. One thing that strikes me when comparing this organization to other nonprofits is how much the staff, volunteers and board members care about the people they serve, and how hard they work to continue creating safe spaces open to all young people with support systems that facilitate personal and community growth.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned of the Lubuto Library Project through a colleague who, like me, worked on Sub-Saharan Africa and was rather familiar with the lack of access to reading materials and education. After supporting Lubuto with donations for a number of years, I agreed to join the Board. This is a great opportunity to work directly with others committed to make a huge difference in the lives of children at the community level in Africa. I have come to meet a small army of enthusiastic volunteers, some of whom are spending considerable time in the field to advance the project, develop new programs adapted to the interests and needs of the kids and make the Lubuto libraries true community centers that nourish tradition such as story telling, as well as open eyes to different worlds for so many kids, giving them the tools and opportunities to make a difference down the road.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is an organization that is truly making a difference to an underserved population - the youth in Zambia, some of whom have been orphaned by the AIDs epidemic. By providing libraries in various locations throughout the country, Lubuto Library Partners has created a safe place for children to come and learn, to participate in arts activities and to engage in their community. The libraries themselves are designed with these purposes in mind and fit beautifully in their surroundings.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve had my eye on Lubuto since a colleague pointed them out to me 7 years ago. I was just beginning my career in libraries following my Peace Corps experience in West Africa and I knew I wanted to be involved. Working in a developing country, I’ve lived through the daily problems and failed solutions these communities face. I’m incredibly impressed with the way Lubuto has taken all these factors into consideration in their sustainable approach to helping vulnerable youth through library services. Education and access to information is crucial for social, economic, and personal development, and especially for children at such a young age who have no other resources to turn to for help. Lubuto’s high quality and relevant materials, locally focused youth programs, and indigenous buildings help to breathe new life into these young people who are in dire need of support.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned for Lubuto last summer and it was one of the best learning experiences. The founder and program associate, as well as all other members of the Lubuto family, care so deeply for the youth and communities they are serving. I was amazed by the thought and detail that went into each decision, and their ability to put themselves in each child's shoes in order to see what they would want. Lubuto also works hard to stay on top of technology and new opportunities for growth. I really cannot imagine a non profit that cares more deeply for its cause and executes its plans with intention and kindness.

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

As a professional librarian I can wholeheartedly recommend Lubuto Library Partners and the work they do. One thing that is unique about this organization is the carefully selected collections that they make available to vulnerable children. African children, and let me say ALL children, deserve a library of books that are relevant to their lives. They need a safe and caring environment where they can read for pleasure or have their information needs met. Lubuto does all of that!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lubuto Library Partners demonstrates powerfully the ability of books to transform lives, one child at a time. The libraries serve out of school children in Zambia living in great need and insecurity. Each of the three (soon to be four) libraries provide a place for these kids to experience new possibilities - whether through reading the books in the collection, looking up information on the computers, participating in (or just watching) a drama group, or simply hanging out with their friends in a building that is designed to bring people together. I support Lubuto because it aims not just to lift individual children beyond the limits of their circumstances, which are often unimaginably difficult, but because it aims to strengthen and anchor entire communities. Whether you donate a single book or enough to build a whole new library, by supporting Lubuto Library Partners you will take a concrete step to enlarge the world of a child and a community in a way that is meaningful and enduring.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm so proud to be a Board member of the Lubuto Library Project. A lot of organizations work in Africa, but Lubuto is different. Lubuto is all about giving children the keys to their own future. In Zambia, elementary education isn't universal and charges fees after a certain age, so thousands of children who could otherwise continue to learn and thrive just can't go to school. Lubuto provides them a warm, welcoming place to continue to learn, grow, and be safe. The libraries themselves look like indigenous buildings; the staff are locals, some of them formerly homeless youth themselves; and the programs are full of bright, eager, beautiful children who don't have anywhere else to get these kind of opportunities. Through books, literacy, art and drama, the Lubuto libraries are building up the youth of Zambia (and hopefully other nations soon) to provide a better future for their community and nation.