Zambia has one of the highest rates of child marriage in Africa, with 31% of girls under the age of 18 already married. At the Mumuni Nabukuyu Library in Southern Province, Lubuto has pioneered innovative library-based programs to prevent child marriage by addressing two of its major drivers in this rural community: poverty and limited educational and economic prospects for girls.

Lubuto’s approach

Lubuto’s “Communities for Change” project engages the entire Nabukuyu community through the shared resource of the Mumuni Library. Project activities include:

  1. A Family Makerspace offering skills-training and fabrication activities (e.g., sewing, technology training, pottery, arts and crafts, carving, carpentry, gardening, hairdressing) that increase the financial capacity of mothers and female caregivers to keep their daughters in school;

  2. Facilitation of meetings of chiefs, headmen, teachers and other local stakeholders to increase awareness of early marriage and to generate and deliver community-led solutions, such as the establishment of a local gender-based-violence reporting Secretariat, operated by area chiefs and opened with Lubuto’s support in June of 2019;

  3. Offer 10 comprehensive boarding school scholarships—including tuition, fees, uniforms, school supplies, and feminine hygiene products—to help young girls who were removed from child marriages re-enroll in school and reimagine their futures;