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Innovative library programming in Zambia

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.

Implementation Timeframe
November 12, 2015 - November 4, 2016
Primary Implementing Organization: 
Lubuto Library Partners
Country: 
Funding Organization: 
USAID American Schools and Hospitals Abroad, USAID All Children Reading Grand Challenge (World Vision in Zambia), PEPFAR DREAMS, Comic Relief, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, IMF Civics Program, Dow Jones, EIFL
Donations and major gifts from individuals, among others
Strategies: 
Reading Curriculum Development
Other Development
Teaching and Learning Materials Development/Provision
Policy Dialogue
Teacher Coaching
Mother Tongue Education
Reading Assessment
Parent Teacher Association/Community Training
Reading Advocacy
Total Number of Students Targeted: 
390,000