Chishimba

“Today, I am committed to helping fellow survivors and bringing public attention to the realities of sexual abuse. I’m now mentoring adolescent girls and young women, helping them find inner strength to challenge and overcome abuse and discrimination. It is so important for them to feel safe speaking out, so justice can be served”

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Lubuto Library Partners
Jacob

“I used to come to the library at St Daniels Comboni, and my friend told me about the all-boys DREAMS mentorship program. I got an intake form, and I enrolled for the program. Before I joined the mentorship program, I had very low self-esteem, never had courage, and my public speaking skills were terrible. I was greatly inspired by the program facilitators who not only taught me about HIV/AIDS but also helped with my self- esteem. The facilitators helped me face my fear of public speaking by allowing me to say a few things during the mentoring sessions. They also gave me an opportunity to go live on the radio. That was one of my best experiences.”

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Lubuto Library Partners
LubutoDrama students

19-year-old Mwengele Lwipa and 17-year-old Masa Zulu, members of the LubutoDrama program, were featured in an award-winning film called I Am Not a Witch that Mark Kermode from The Observer called “comic, tragic—and captivatingly beautiful.” Shown at major film festivals around the world, this film about a young Zambian girl accused of witchcraft attracted huge attention and collected numerous awards—including the Best Feature Film at the Africa International Film Festival and the Best Directorial Debut at the Stockholm Film Festival. In addition to being paid for their work, the boys got to travel around Lusaka during the shooting and see themselves on the big screen. Both of them were overwhelmed by the experience of having their friends see them on TV (as the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation aired the film repeatedly), and Mwengeli said, “This is what I am meant to do!” Considering that they have already been invited to audition for more movies, it seems he may be right.

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Lubuto Library Partners
Adah

At the library Adah joined the DREAMS mentoring program, focused on fostering determination for education and preventing HIV in adolescent girls aged 15-24, and also learned how to use computers for the first time. These opportunities reshaped Adah’s sense of what girls and women can do, and of what is possible for her own future. “I was raised to believe that the man is the only person who can run a home, [and] when I lived with my grandmother, I learned it’s not necessary for a girl to go to school.” But at the LMAYL, Adah learned new lessons: “I learned that a girl child needs school for her own survival and bright future. I learned a woman should not be silent [...] She should stand up for her rights.”

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Lubuto Library Partners