Saturday, October 11, 2008

World Changer of the Month: Lubuto Library Project

I believe that we need to promote other people doing good in our continent. Every month I will post a story of an organization or individual making an impact in Africa or any where in the world through innovative ideas and projects. If you know of such a story please email me at The article below is courtesy of

Written by
Monday, 23 June 2008

The Lubuto Library Project grew from a seed planted at the end of the 1990s. From 1999 to 2001, Jane Kinney Meyers, the Lubuto Libary Project's President, was instrumental in establishing a ?street kids library? at the Fountain of Hope drop-in shelter in central Lusaka, Zambia.

More of a reading room than full-fledged library, it grew out of a weekly reading program that Jane Meyers began, which attracted a whole cadre of volunteers. As word of the reading program spread, individuals, publishers and schools in both the United States and the United Kingdom donated thousands of new and used children?s books.

A used 20 foot shipping container was adapted for use as a library by adding a door, windows, shelving and carpeting. Local embassies, businesses, charitable organizations and members of the Zambia Library Association facilitated the opening of the library. Two Fountain of Hope staff members were appointed to run the library.

The street children loved the library, and treated the books with respect. Some children used the library to study for the secondary school entrance exam, and were able to pass, earning a right to attend public high school, which in Zambia are boarding institutions, and a better future. The need to build on this experience was clear, and the Lubuto Library Project was born.

Lubuto libraries are special places where Africa's street kids and other marginalized children can read for themselves, look at books or have books read to them. In Lubuto libraries, children come in contact with and explore the world and their human heritage.

Lubuto library buildings are designed to give homeless children profound and rich spaces, a ?home? to read and learn in. The libraries are havens from a harsh life, where children can just be children, and where books can allow them to dream and envision a better future.

Giving vulnerable children the opportunity to learn to read and to learn, even if they are excluded from formal schooling, will help them to go in positive directions with their lives, knowing that society is providing a place for them and cares about their welfare.

Lubuto Libraries introduce the communities in which the are established to the role libraries can play ? and have played in the U.S. ? in opening doors of opportunity for marginalized populations. That these libraries focus on the youngest and most vulnerable members of society makes their societal impact potentially very powerful. Adults, and youth from intact families who attend school, will also want to be in Lubuto Libraries ? and the resulting interaction will allow Lubuto's kids to be more connected to their culture and society, to others.


We need your help ? and even small donations make a big difference when every penny you give goes toward building and stocking Lubuto Libraries!

The Lubuto Library Project is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) public charity and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You may make a convenient and safe donation online by clicking the button at the left. We have partnered with Network for Good to securely process your donation by credit card. Make a one-time donation or pledge sustaining support to be charged monthly to your credit card. Our non-U.S. supporters can make a credit card donation on PayPal via Network for Good.

After you have made your donation, you will be returned to our website.

Alternatively, you can mail a check or money order payable to the Lubuto Library Project, Inc. in U.S. dollars to the address below:

Lubuto Library Project, Inc.
5505 Connecticut Ave., NW, #368
Washington, DC 20015-2601

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