September 2019


Coming: a new and improved Lubuto Model Library!

We recently learned that our 2018 proposal to USAID American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) to renovate and greatly extend the physical infrastructure and resources of the Lubuto Model Library was successful! This generous support from the U.S. government will allow us to develop the library into a place to support community, social and intellectual development in Zambia with innovative professional library services to young people. The newly enhanced facility will be the Lubuto Model American Youth Library.

The grant will support an extensive renovation to the existing facilities that were built in 2010, entailing rehabilitation of the Reading Room and Tech Hub buildings. New constructions on the library site will include an Early Literacy Center, a Teen Empowerment Center, and a Community Center.

The ASHA grant also provides funds for purchase of updated and expanded resources for the library compound. The book collection will be updated and, in fact, almost completely replaced, since the original 2010 collection has been well-loved and essentially worn out. New digital educational tools will serve the wide range of ages and abilities of Lubuto library users. Updated and expanded print, technology and makerspace tools will support cutting-edge programs and support the Model Library's function as a training center for library services to young people.

The Early Literacy Center will facilitate hands-on learning that increases literacy, improves school readiness, and prepares children to succeed in school—and their caregivers will learn along with them. "Play" in the center is designed to produce self-confident and motivated children and prevent negative gender stereotyping at its origin—the early years of life. It will provide stations that invite and facilitate educational play, including a traditional market, a farm, a clinic, a train, a kitchen, a cave, a construction zone, and a dinosaur dig area, and built-in book display areas will facilitate themed book-play pairings. The ELC will also promote inclusion of young children with disabilities by offering play areas that are accessible to children with limited mobility and well-suited to the needs of children with intellectual disabilities and/or visual impairment, including stations that incorporate tactile and sensory elements and activities.

The Teen Empowerment Center will address the specific needs of teens, including the development of STEM and other productive skills, digital and traditional literacy, and group-level cooperation for analysis and problem solving to support the successful transition of teens into adulthood. It will accommodate a variety of activities, with furniture, fixtures, and technology that can be easily adjusted for different purposes and that allow them to focus on individual and group interests. Seating and tables will accommodate teens of varying sizes and abilities, including wheelchair accessibility. This design provides for easy rearrangement of furnishing to support a wide range of individual and group activities and programs, including meetings, mentoring sessions, talks, and private and shared reading and use of technology that will enhance information literacy and encourage connected learning, creation, interaction, and freedom of expression. The new Teen Center will also allow the library to target film showings to different age groups.

The Community Center will support training activities for librarians and engagement with community groups and other stakeholders by providing flexible space for meetings, trainings, and events, equipped with seating and presentation technology for up to 60 people at a time. It will also be open to outside groups and will promote community engagement and ownership of the library by providing a space for civil society organizations to meet. The renovated Model Library will also have a new facility for toilets and storage, a solar power installation, and a data collection station.


ASHA grants provide buildings and resources; you support Lubuto's talented people!

ASHA has, to date, generously supported construction and renovation of four Lubuto libraries. The funds ASHA provides for commodities has allowed us to select and purchase full, excellent book collections, computers and other technological resources that put these libraries on a par with the best libraries for children. They have been a valuable and key partner, and the construction of Lubuto libraries would not be possible without them. However, funding to support our exceptional team, in Zambia and in the U.S., as well as our overhead and operational costs, is not covered by these grants, which means that individual donations are what keep Lubuto afloat.


Will you join the Lubuto family?

Our regular donors are the lifeblood of Lubuto. When you set up a recurring donation, either by bank billpayer service or credit card, we can better plan for the future. Please consider joining the Lubuto family as a sustaining supporter—making a transformative commitment to Africa's children as a monthly donor.

Grants can move us forward in specific directions, but only unrestricted donations from our supporters can keep us afloat. Lubuto helps so many young people at such a low cost. A modest contribution each month is an easy way to brighten many children's lives!

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Volunteer of the Month: Sylvia Mwale

Our volunteer of the month is Sylvia Mwale, who has been volunteering since 2018 and working hand-in-hand with Steve and Enesto. Read more here.