Fifteen-year old Catherine was enjoying an ordinary school day until Lubuto Library staff walked in her grade 7 class to talk about DREAMS programs for adolescent girls aged 15-24. Catherine was immediately captivated and wanted to participate in the programs.
As soon as school ended for the day, Catherine went straight to the library to find out more about this exciting program. She was thrilled to hear about the different speakers who would visit the library to hold career talks to foster determination for education in the adolescents. “They asked us what topics we wanted to learn about during mentoring and the places we wanted to visit during our field trips. I felt so special to have been consulted,” she said. To Catherine and many other adolescents, DREAMS has become an integral part of their lives. Catherine shared that her favorite part of DREAMS is that she has been exposed to different careers and interacted with women pursuing those careers. Catherine further stated that “Through DREAMS, I was given an opportunity to visit the Parliament during one of our field trips. I asked the host speaker what measures parliamentarians are putting in place to ensure young girls like me are kept safe.”
The generous support of the American people granted to Lubuto Library Partners through ASHA funding is yielding great and lasting results in the lives of many children and youth. “I am happy that we have the DREAMS programs at the library, because apart from reading books, I now look forward to the mentoring sessions. The library means everything to me. We learn a lot of things, and I always tell my friends I’m going to the library. If anyone is looking for me, they know where to find me.” Catherine has since been elected as a class prefect, and she has come to learn through the mentoring sessions conducted at the library that she needs to be a true leader everywhere she goes, whether at school or at the library or elsewhere in her community. Catherine says she regularly encourages her friends to come to the library and participate in mentoring activities. It is through this type of perspective changes that LLP impacts the community beyond just the participants in mentoring activities.