Lubuto Library Partners
Lubuto is a word in the IciBemba language that means "enlightenment, knowledge and light." The Lubuto Library model was developed to create opportunities for equitable, high quality education and poverty reduction through open-access libraries and holistic educational, cultural and community programs. Lubuto Libraries target the most vulnerable children and youth in Zambia with excellent, comprehensive book collections, technology and exciting and impactful programs that enable them to develop their knowledge, talents and self-expression. Once established, Lubuto Libraries are hosted and operated by community-based partner organizations serving children and youth, but are always open to the public and actively reach out to the most marginalized young people.
The Lubuto Library Partners (LLP) was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2005 and opened its first library in Lusaka in 2007, with subsequent libraries opened in 2010 (Lubuto Model Library), 2014 (Mumuni Library, in Zambia's Southern Province), and 2017 (Lubuto Mthunzi American Youth Library) and a fifth is slated to open in late 2018 in the Southern Province capital, Choma. Plans are underway to bring Lubuto Libraries to Malawi.
Lubuto Libraries serve as safe havens for vulnerable children and youth and are a platform for integrated programs, which offer discovery and learning through reading, music, art, drama, computers and other activities. Quality educational opportunities are further enhanced by psychosocial support programs of motivational mentoring and counseling, and the flexible model supports innovation in early childhood development (ECD), health, environmental and other targeted programming as well. By fostering literacy, language skills, awareness and respect of cultural heritage, general knowledge of the world, enjoyment of books and learning, and a sense of self-worth among children, Lubuto Libraries seek to improve educational outcomes for all those that use them. Lubuto libraries have received well over 1,000,000 visits from more than 100,000 vulnerable children and youth.