Lubuto Library Partners Lubuto Library Partners
3 street kids

Street Kids in Africa

Street kids are children or teenagers who don't have an adult to care for them on a full-time basis. Some sleep in the corner of a relative's or neighbor's house; some must find food and clothing on their own; others have no place in the world but the street. Their home may be a piece of cardboard laid out on a sidewalk, inside concrete pipes or even in a tree. Street kids can be as young as 3 years old—a tragic part of Africa’s AIDS and economic crises.

Life on the street is harsh with no protection from rain, wind or cold. Passersby often view the children with suspicion and hostility. Street kids are chased by police, and the younger and weaker are often victimized by the older and stronger. These children face illness without care, and there are no reliable statistics on their life expectancy – nor even on their very existence. Many, maybe most, do not survive to adulthood.

Because life on the street is so brutal, it is easy to overlook the needs these children have that go beyond survival. They want care and love. They are desperate to escape from the street. They want to learn. They need and deserve hope and a way out.

A Safe Haven

Lubuto libraries are special places where children can be safe and out of the elements. The library doesn’t give street kids all that they need, but it provides opportunities for learning, hope, community and self-expression.

Lubuto Library Partners® collaborates with shelters, drop-in centers, orphanages and other community centers serving children in need. Partner organizations own the libraries, providing their site and staff. Lubuto builds the library centers (see Lubuto Libraries), delivers organized book collections that are ready to shelve, coordinates programming and trains library staff.

Children use Lubuto libraries to learn about the world, become literate and to improve reading skills. The library can be a path to formal schooling, as well a place for youthful enlightenment.

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