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The Lubuto Library Project is proud to have been selected for inclusion in the 2006-07 Catalogue for Philanthropy.
Catalog for Philanthropy

Each year the Catalogue for Philanthropy (CFP) introduces new charities to the world. CFP's review team of 50 members from large foundations, corporate giving programs, family foundations, and nonprofit organizations, selected the Lubuto Libary Project for inclusion based on distinction, merit, cost-effectiveness, and accomplishment. If “making a difference” is one of your goals, then please consider giving your support to the Lubuto Library Project .

Kudos for the Lubuto Library Project

The Lubuto Library Project has been recognized for its excellence by distinguished practitioners and academics in the library world, writers, street kid educators, street kids, and others. Read what some of them have to say.

Helen Kennedy, MLIS
Manager, Spencer Township Branch of Kent District Library, Gowen, MI

The Lubuto Library Project emphasizes community ownership and has carefully partnered with local organizations, drawing on the support of local professionals for leadership in each community and training librarians from within. In a quest to be a sustainable institution it epitomizes professionalism, innovation, accountability, and transparency in the organization.

Read the entire letter written in support of Lubuto's 2010 nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (pdf)

Denise D. Agosto, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, College of Information Science & Technology
Drexel University

I am writing to offer my support for the Lubuto Library Project’s nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. As explained on the award webpage, “The purpose of the prize is to strengthen and increase interest in children’s and youth literature around the world. The award also aims to strengthen children’s rights on a global level.” The Lubuto Project is a worthy nominee, as its goals and activities are closely linked to these two purposes.

Read the entire letter written in support of Lubuto's 2009 nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (pdf)

Laura Bush
Former First Lady of the United States, and librarian

President Bush joins me in sending congratulations on the completion of the first Lubuto Library and our best wishes as you continue working on the next five.

Read the entire letter (pdf)

John Y. Cole
Director, The Center for the Book
Library of Congress

I am most impressed with the planning and the passion behind the Lubuto Library Project. It truly is innovative in its approach, tailored to unusual needs at an unusual and especially trying time in the history of southern Africa. It also is a new and meaningful way of using books (delivered as library collections), knowledgeable volunteers, and networks of appropriate organizations and individuals to battle AIDs, poverty, and homelessness. You are to be commended for your dedication and organizational skills in making this happen. It really is quite wonderful.

Read the entire letter

Paul Wasserman
Professor Emeritus
University of Maryland

The Lubuto Library Project is designed to create imaginative and desperately important library and educational programs for southern Africa's most needy children -- the improverished and the unwanted who have so little hope and for whom conventional libraries are simply inaccessible and irrelevant. Based upon her first hand experiences and observations on the ground, Jane Meyers has put together and tested the efficacy of the design. It is a construct which builds upon the notion of involving young people in the US in a helping role and indigenous specialists working directly with the needy children in Africa in settings where they can be reached. This mode of service transcends the more conventional idea of structured libraries intended for typical readers. Instead it is oriented specifically toward the unique condition, the needs and the possibilities of extending library and reading programs in the places where they are most desperately needed.

Read the entire letter (.pdf file)

C.M.Mayo
Writer, poet, translator and teacher

...the amazing and necessary and brilliant and seriously inspiring Lubuto Library Project...

Read the entire blog post

Sydney (Sydowman) Mwape
Composer and street kid educator, Lusaka

...you have my support on this one and what ever it takes to up lift the living standards of the vulnerable children i will walk with you up to the end.

Nicholas Mwila
Musician, lyricist, actor, and former street kid educator at the Fountain of Hope shelter, Lusaka

You might have seen the lubuto library on photos, but if you see it for yourself physically, then you can understand the new face fountain of hope has for children's knowledge. The library is a big happenning to all of us associated with children Zambia. I cant express my happiness by writing but I can asure you this is what children need when we talk about children's facility in rehabiltation proceses.

Joan R. Challinor
Former Chair
U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science

Many children in Africa are bereft of home, family, or books of any kind. The Lubuto Library Project will bring a safe haven and culturally and age-appropriate books to a population so socially deprived that their very existence is in question. Help is vitally needed; the Lubuto Library Project offers to thousands of children the only place in which they can feel safe, read books, and in many cases simply be quiet.

Dr. Kenneth Kaunda
First Republican President of Zambia
On seeing Lubuto’s beautiful buildings and excellent collection and services:

“So we’re still holding on to humanity here?”

Dr. Jonathan Brakarsh
Clinical Psychologist and International OVC Consultant
Harare, Zimbabwe

[The Lubuto Library Project] has established the equivalent of a caring library, accessible to all children, especially those who cannot attend school - it is a place of learning through story telling, drama, mentoring, and lovely books; it is a place of safety; it is based upon traditional approaches by which children learn about the world and their place in it…. The buildings are gorgeous! …Eleni [Coromvli] … has created structures that invite people to gather and socialize…. In the safe space that this library provides the children participate in a number of programs that embrace informal education, child protection, and HIV and AIDS education. Some of these programs are the performing arts, visual arts, the environment, and a mentoring program where children receive life skills. It is a unique way to reach children that I have not seen replicated anywhere else.

Read the entire letter (.pdf)

Marjorie Kambaila, a Zambian living in Washington, DC, on visiting the nearly completed first Lubuto Library in Lusaka in December 2006.

What I really love about Lubuto library buildings is that Zambians have been raised to think that the big western buildings of Lusaka are what represent development, what we should aspire to, and that our traditional ways of building homes were backward. We tended to believe that because our homes in the villages seemed very humble next to the big grand buildings of Lusaka. But the Lubuto Library is “more grand” than the western buildings and that makes me very proud, because Lubuto buildings are our buildings, Zambian buildings.

Jewell Stoddard
Director, Children’s Services
Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

… With imagination, networking, and undaunted hard work, [Lubuto] has proved that libraries are vital in providing a link to the culture that many orphans have lost…. The ways in which Ms. Meyers has involved American children and families in gathering and organizing books for shipment to Zambia, and the sense of connection she has fostered have been meaningful in broadening their views and concerns. So on both sides of the effort, the Project is invaluable….The first beautiful and culturally appropriate library building that the Project has completed provides tangible evidence of [Lubuto’s] vision….

Read the entire letter

Brenda Braham
Digital Initiatives Librarian
Montgomery College, Rockville Campus Library
Rockville, MD

Dear Colleagues---just back from Zambia where I visited this remarkable library for street kids; it was truly inspirational. If you can afford anything at all, please consider donating to this cause….

Mary Beth O’Quinn
Architect and Urban Designer
Maryland Natioinal Capitol Planning Commission
Silver Spring, MD

Ms. Coromvli's language of vernacular architecture -- her deep understanding of form that defines place and her inspired use of indigenous materials -- has elevated the "soul" of a community unique in its service to children who struggle daily to find their place in the world. This is what Lubuto is about---arts and sciences, architecture and literature, that listens to children and leads them to find themselves.

Francesco Carramazza
Zambia Mission Chief
International Monetary Fund
Washington, DC

It’s a fantastic project--truly inspiring, and humbling!

Lindsay Osika
President
Kent Council for Reading of the Diamond State Reading Association
Dover, DE

We would like to contribute … to your organization in support of all the wonderful things you are doing to improve education around the world…. We fully support your organization and wish you the best of success in your efforts.

Mary Myers
World Bank and International Monetary Fund Librarian (retired)
New Zealand

After years of regarding those big-money international and governmental projects (in which the people usually get lost) I am heartened by the success of truly people-focused NGO projects like [Lubuto].

Marcia Harrington
D.C. Public Library
Washington, DC

It was heartening … to learn of the good and needed work that you are doing in Zambia. As an educator who works in the Adult Literacy Resource Center …, I know full well how critical libraries can be in improving and encouraging literacy skills both for children and adults…. We are especially grateful that your focus is on children whose lives have been seriously impacted by HIV/AIDS. Thank you for the ways in which the Lubuto Library Project is bringing knowledge and light in Zambia.

Danny Glover
Actor

The efforts of this new and highly professional organization, whose programs are rooted in local communities and guided by prominent Zambians, are important and unique in Africa….Lubuto Library Project’s Advisory Board includes Zambian Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, Mulenga Kapwepwe and Mark Chona, and dozens of other Zambians volunteer with Lubuto Libraries to provide enriching programs for their nation’s disadvantaged youth....Lubuto Libraries don’t impose western educational systems but, rather, are based upon traditional approaches….Beyond its libraries, the Lubuto Project works to identify and bring traditional Zambian stories back into print. And its buildings, faithfully using vernacular styles, are a source of pride and celebration of Zambia’s cultures.

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