Our September 2017 Volunteer of the Month is Namukaba Hichilo, a computer scientist who has helped Lubuto invaluably with his expertise in technology. Namukaba developed an app to make the new LubutoLiteracy lessons accessible and helped set up the internet in Lubuto Libraries. Recently, he facilitated a session on “Digital Literacy in Public Libraries” at our first annual public librarian training workshop. He is now attending Stanford University for his MBA, having received a prestigious Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship.
Our March Volunteer of the Month is Mwilu Kaputula, a long-term volunteer at Ngwerere Library. Mwilu completed his Bachelor’s degree in Adult Education at the University of Zambia last September. He has always had a love for books and working with children. After attending a Literacy Week event at Ngwerere in 2014, Mwilu was inspired to volunteer regularly. He particularly enjoys leading storytime and hopes that his passion for reading and contributions to Lubuto helps to empower vulnerable youth and give them brighter futures.
Our Volunteer of the Month is Sarah Rowman. Sarah is a Junior at Oberlin College majoring in Creative Writing and East Asian Studies and we were fortunate that she wanted to intern at Lubuto during the school’s January break. We were delighted to take advantage of her writing skills and threw just about every writing project that was in the works her way, including web content. She was a crucial sounding board, especially providing new ideas for the website.
The January Volunteers of the Month are Jim Kurtz and Laurie Green, long-time friends of Lubuto who helped to build a bigger and stronger support base and have provided us with vital services. We found Jim through his wife and earlier Lubuto volunteer, Laurie, who got Bryan Cave LLP’s Washington DC office behind our work. She hosted a great Lubuto event there in 2011. We didn’t let Jim escape too effectively after he retired from the IRS because he prepares Lubuto’s tax returns for us every year.
Ken Meyers has always humbly referred to himself as “Volunteer #1,” when he is signing off on yet another assignment for Lubuto: proposal writing; financial analysis, planning and budgeting; tapping talented people to join our board; unending technical support; research and analysis of the value and impact of Lubuto Libraries – supporting Lubuto for a couple hundred hours a year, and that’s just the “formal” pro bono help! He genuinely is Volunteer #1 in that Lubuto simply would not exist without him. He doesn’t want this attention, but no one who knows him can allow him to escape recognition as Lubuto’s November 2016 Volunteer of the Month!
Our Volunteer of the Month is the wonderful April Wright, who we first met in 2011 as a volunteer for our LubutoLiteracy OLPC project. She has stayed interested and supportive ever since, most recently helping with cataloging and buying books for Lubuto collections. We are humbled by her amazing dedication in squeezing Lubuto into her very busy life and we are delighted by her conviction that “Lubuto is doing [what] libraries are supposed to do: not just serve. Solve!”
Our June Volunteer of the Month is Sherma Ramakrishnan, a new summer volunteer in DC who has already helped to update our website and expand our social media presence. She has been willing to get her hands dirty and immediately took on the arduous task of archiving files and making them available on our website. With her background in communications, we are excited to receive Sherma’s guidance in coming up with new ways to share stories from Lubuto libraries. Sherma is currently an undergraduate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania majoring in international studies.
Our May Volunteer of the Month is Ann Buki. Every once in a while we go back and remember our treasured volunteers who helped us before we had Volunteer of the Month. In 2008, Ann came to us as a volunteer while she was an MLIS student at Catholic University and assisted with our cataloging at St. Paul’s Church. She also organized book drives at Catholic University, really helping to get the school involved with Lubuto. She came to work for a year or so as our first Program Associate in 2009. Ann has been in Philadelphia for some time now, but her hard work and kind nature is still missed by all who worked with her.
Our April Volunteer of the Month is Karina Veras. Karina came to Washington from her home in Brazil to help a Lubuto friend through recovery from surgery. We were so lucky that she learned about Lubuto and wanted to also help us while she was here. Besides working on our donor management system she cataloged hundreds of books for collections needing updating in Zambia. We were so sorry when she had to return to Brazil but look forward to her permanent return in August!
Our Volunteer of the Month is Musonda Kabamba who has been extremely helpful in keeping day-to-day operations running at Fountain of Hope Library. Musonda assists with our data collection, maintains and repairs computers and shelves books. He also helps facilitate special activities at the library, including movie time and board games. Musonda graduated from Libal High School in 2010 and received an international diploma in computing. He is now pursuing a BSc degree.
Travis got to know Lubuto and Jane in 2006 when he was an LIS student at the University of South Carolina. He started by organizing the USC LISSA students in creative fundraising as well as a tremendous effort to solicit book donations from publishers at an ALA conference in those early days of our collection-building. He has since stayed closely engaged and always looking for new ways to raise money and awareness for Lubuto, as well as being a donor himself.
As he has progressed through his career as a military librarian, Travis has increased his personal monthly financial contributions to Lubuto. His commitment to our mission has never waned. We so greatly treasure our recurring donors! While we know Travis will remain a member of the Lubuto family for a long time, we would like to step back this month and recognize him as our Volunteer of the Month!
“There is this library, with all this stuff going on, and the kids love it!”
These are the words of our Volunteer of the Month, Ed Rumsey, when describing Lubuto libraries. Ed is a volunteer at the Ngwerere Library who has connected with so many Lubuto children since starting in September. He comes to the library several times a week and reads to children and participates in activities with them. As a trained musician, Ed also runs a music program at the library. He is beloved by the children and entertains them for hours on end.
Note: Ed is also responsible for arranging the fantastic Nick Miami Lubuto rap. Check it out if you haven’t already done so: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFgLvZXtFQ4
Read his review of Lubuto on Great Nonprofits: http://greatnonprofits.org/users/profile/358477
Our Volunteer of the Month is Curtis Rogers, the talented graphic designer who created our new logo, electronic graphics for the new website and communications materials—as well as the beautiful template for our 2014 annual report. With his help, we were able to start a rebranding campaign this year reflecting our new name and logo and commemorating our 10th anniversary. He also volunteered at our 10th anniversary celebration. Curtis works as the Marketing Manager at the National Club Association. Holding an MFA in creative writing from NYU, he writes poetry in his free time.
Our Volunteer of the Month is Joseph Phiri, a Zambian volunteer who has devoted so much of his time to helping out at Fountain of Hope Library. Joseph is a recent law school graduate who was attracted to Lubuto because of his interest in education and children's rights. He volunteers at the Fountain of Hope library from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, and has quickly become a key part of the Fountain of Hope team. He also started and currently leads a Lubuto chess club that is extremely popular with children of all ages.
Our Volunteer of the Month is Stacy Langner! Stacy was working for an international development firm in South Africa and working on a Master's in Library & Information Science when she discovered the first Lubuto library and contacted us to ask if she could visit it for her research. It wasn't long before she was hooked and, as a volunteer, bringing in our first major grants while she traversed East Africa training people in resource mobilization working for the German Foundation for International Development. Her tireless and amazing efforts resulted in a major turning point for Lubuto, and during our 10th anniversary year we would like to celebrate and thank this very special and talented volunteer-employee-volunteer and friend for her wonderful contributions!
Our Volunteer of the Month is Caitlin Raines—the DC office’s amazing summer intern—who has significantly increased our visibility and engagement through social media platforms in just a couple of months. Caitlin is an undergraduate Public Relations major at Pepperdine University and will soon be returning to California to complete her junior year. Aside from creating new LinkedIn business and Instagram profiles for Lubuto, she has been invaluable and very creative in thinking of new ways to share stories and updates through all of our social media applications. In recent weeks, Caitlin also assisted in the daunting task of laying out the new lubuto.org website.
Our Volunteer of the Month is Priyanshi Naik, who has been instrumental in the refinement and quality control of our new LubutoLiteracy lessons. Priyanshi is an undergraduate student in Public Health at the University of Georgia who is currently interning with Zambia’s Ministry of Health. While in Zambia, she has devoted much of her free time to volunteering with Lubuto, including proofreading all of the literacy lessons three times and helping to conduct outreach activities. Now she is eager to engage directly with children in our libraries. Who can resist? We’re glad Priyanshi can’t!
Since its beginning, Lubuto has been blessed with guidance, wisdom and tireless support of one of Zambia’s most prominent citizens, Mark Chona. He and his wife Vicky have been close personal friends of Jane and Ken Meyers since the late 1990s. We were honored and thrilled when Mr. Chona joined Lubuto’s Advisory Board and began a determined push to bring a Lubuto library to Southern Province through his Matantala Rural Integrated Development Enterprise (MRIDE). We are indebted to him in so many ways, not least of which has been connecting the First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda with our work in the openings of all of our libraries. Lubuto owes much of its success—in large part—to Mark Chona, and we humbly honor him as our Volunteer of the Month. Thank you Mr. Chona!
Our Volunteer of the Month is lawyer Stuart Yikona, a founding member of our Board of Directors who hails from Mwinilunga, Zambia. At the IMF and, later, the World Bank, Stuart has supported governments in strengthening their financial integrity. With this background he helped Lubuto to establish a solid and transparent framework. He also drafted all of our agreements with Zambian partners and we have thrived with his wise and always thoughtful guidance. We are sad that his heavy workload means he must leave our board for now, and so grateful that he remains devoted to Lubuto and will still be available to help out when he can. Thank you Stuart!
Our March Volunteer of the Month is Ann Sweeney! An SLA colleague of Jane’s, Ann was one of Lubuto’s very first volunteers. Her 30+ year library career, including nearly 20 years with the European Union, equipped her to help Lubuto articulate its mission and activities in our early years. She greatly helped broaden support for Lubuto within SLA and obtained direct logistical support from the European Union. Ann traveled to Zambia with Jane Meyers in 2007, and while there was an invaluable help in opening the first Lubuto library. She has remained a loyal Lubuto supporter ever since. Thank you Ann!