Lubuto Library Partners provides Zambian children and youth—particularly those excluded from formal education—with libraries and services to develop the knowledge and skills to reconnect with their communities and participate fully in society. Established in 2005, Lubuto has opened three open-access libraries in Zambia—with others opening in 2017 and 2018, and plans to expand to neighboring countries—that provide holistic literacy, cultural and community programs. Lubuto libraries are multibuilding complexes that are owned, sustained and staffed by local host organizations.
LLP was founded because at-risk children in Zambia—including out-of-school and street kids—critically need safe public spaces to learn and grow. Of Zambian youth aged 15-24, only 70.3% of males and 58.5% of females are literate. Rather than offering regimented literacy programs, the Lubuto Library model builds an adaptable and inclusive nexus of services and support for young people. It addresses a full range of literacy challenges, informed by collaboration with library experts and a deep understanding of local culture.
The All Children Reading Grand Challenge-winning LubutoLiteracy program—designed by an expert who developed Zambia’s mother-tongue reading curriculum—extends an opportunity for children to increase their literacy levels beyond the classroom. LLP will release 710 updated lessons in seven Zambian languages in an open-source format—enabling children and teachers nationwide to use LubutoLiteracy lessons.