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 Making a Million Think with a Drop of Ink

By Educating Minds | Changing Lives we are creating places where people, learn, live, work & thrive because Sharing is Caring

The HML Foundation is our non-profit arm dedicated to Keystone Group's CSR projetcs.
Click to learn more about The HML Foundation or visit the full website at www.hmlfoundation.org

 
Written By Jennifer Nash 5th December, 2015

Our Current Public Library project #SLCL​​ is on hold...

As we are currently wroking on two new community libraries 

Lusaka Library is in a state of disrepair and lacks the fundamentals needed to run a basic library. It's infrastructure is in ruins and begging for help! The few books that line the so-called shelves are in deplorable state and boasts of outdated if not damaged editions of books and reference materials.
From the outside the library is unloved and an eye-sore in the heart of a bustling Lusaka City Centre and the infamous Katondo Street. The Street was once known for its shawdy FOREX deals that went on behind dark corners in the 90's.
Not much has changed, the street is still home to dodgy business men who do not take kindly to an 'outsider' appearing from no-where with a Camera in-hand taking photos. The locals are always expecting Government agents or plain clothes policmen to show up. Conversely on this very street nestles a building that has the potential to not only change the areas' perception, but the future of Katondo Street, its patrons and of course add value to the surrounding businesses.
 
It was a hot sun-parched and dusty October 2015 day when I arrived at the gates of the Library where I was nearly man-handled when I showed up with camera in hand to take photos of the library. One rough looking guy approached me and said "Ba Sista people here do not appreciate someone coming here and taking snaps of them. You've got to watch out and consider yourself warned!".  I quickly  assured him with a smile that I was not there to take photos of 'the people' I was only insterested in the Library buiilding. Satisfied with my answer -the big guy left me alone.
 
The Lusaka City Library has been on my mind for the last 9 years but I started the actual journey of campaigning to save libraries in 2008 as then Managing Director of Je T'aime and through its CSR program "The No Child Left Behind" campaign which single handedly raised a million Kwacha for the Galamukani Project in Bauleni Compound. In 2009 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City Council to allow us to campaign for sponsorship of renovating libraries throughout Lusaka. As an indirect result of our campaings, The Dodia family adopted and renovated the Matero Library a few years later.
 
 When Je T'aime closed its doors to business in 2010 all the furniture and consumables where donated to the Lusaka City Library.
 
5 years later; my recent visit to Lusaka could not be complete without stopping by to see the state of affairs at the Library today. My passion to see Libraries in Zambia come to life by 2020 did not cease with Je T'aime. Therefore as a result; I am now tasking Keystone Group SBE  along with your help; to pool our resources to "Save Lusaka City Library" If  not for ourselves; lets do it for our children's children. Therefore we are calling to action the Lusaka Business Community, NGO's and the general public; local and in the Diaposra around the world to spare your change towards the renovation of The Lusaka City Library.
Although the staff were un-motivated and looking so forlorn; on my first approach; their faces told a story of loss of hope, and even of being fade-up of people like me who showed up with a pitch that they want to take pictures so they can raise unawareness of the state of the library - but in the end did nothing about it. You coudl see the distrust in their eyes; or hear their disbelief and irratabilty in their tone of voices when they did speak up. Sadly their concerns are justified as I have since discovered during my research that others with good intentions have been there before me as evidenced by these two YouTube videos: 1. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QtW4KIUM2o0&autoplay=1
and 2
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QtW4KIUM2o0&autoplay=1
 
However, at the time; I could not help to wonder whether it was my approach to them or a story much deeper lay beneath their antagonistic behaviour. At first as only a human that I am could; I was tempeted to judge them; as cold and unwelcoming bunch of frustrated and territorial civil servants not willing to allow anyone into their space. But with a quick check into my own inner thoughts and attitude; I quickly saw the error of my ways! Hopefully it was quickly enough, I reined myself in and instead asked to speak to the chief librarian so I could ask for permission to interview the Library patrons. Thankfully the Librarian Stella remembered who I was and was more than obliged to let me interview some students and herslef.  
 
My personal experience with the state of affairs in the library last October changed my view on waiting for the Council to do something or hoping for some help to come from NGO's when what the library needed was for I as an individual to do something about it right now! Then of course knowing fully well what my limitations are; not currently being resident in the country and being just one person; the penny dropped. Of course, a drop of ink can make a million think... You would think it should have that been obvious to me...because I ran a PR and Communications business! Is there a better tool to use to invite others to join me? So here goes...I inked my thoughts.
 
We all know that books are the source of wisdom! As they say if you want to keep anything from a Zambian put it in a book! We can reverse this belief and prove our critics wrong... I hope you can join us at Keystone Group to bring our vision of Creating a culture of creative exchange with real opportunities, not pocket change by Educating Minds | Changing Lives.
 
Before we can look to the government to renovate the library, which we all know is a tall order - as much as they would want to; they simply cannot afford to. The priority list for our City Council is long. Therefore we as a community can help regenerate our city by starting with the core centre of knowledge and wisdom. Any city worth its name must have a Cathedral, a Library and a downtown where people can thrive. We hope our 2020 vision for the library can be a part of this dream to make Lusaka a city worth its status. After all no one can come from the outside to build our home...Only we the people of Lusaka can, if we at least start with laying the foundation; I believe we can get support from others. Now its your turn to join - Just choose how on the various options on the notice board below.
 
Either way you can visit our Facebook Page just click Going or Interested at www.facebook.com/savelusakacitylibrary or click here to  Contact us.  Learn more about The Henry Morrison Limula Foundation (named in memory of my dearly departed dad) visit www.hmlfoundation.org
 
Or drop me a line at jennifer@keystonegroupsbe.com.
 
P.s. Watch my interview on YouTube
 
 
Thank you for your time
Yours trully, 
Jennifer Limula-Nash 
Lusaka Raised and educated citizen
Twitter@AngelHeartBride
 
Lusaka City Library

During my recent visit; my heart was broken to see the current state of affairs of what is supposed to be the hub of reserach and information. I had the painful but revealing privilege of taking a walk-through the library and in the process interviewing students who are so eager to use the library - even prepared to pay for the services albeit if only they could have the resources they need to pursue their studies. Aside from the lack of Health & Safety measures in place, such as an unsecured ladder being used to pick up newspapers perched on a 3 meter high cabinet; a leak coming through a light bulb; I also came across all sorts of users; from full time students studying for a first degree to professionals studying for career progression.

Free back to work training & support for unemployed

#BringBackMyLibraryWork experience for Graduates

We offer Flexible graduate career programmes
(1 and 3 month work experience in business support services and junior consultant training) If you have a talent for Social Media, we would  love to hear from you. + ARTIST WANTED! To design a scupture or statue for the Library 

#BringBackMyLibrary

Keystone is open to
hearing from anyone from Senior Managers, Architec or talented Business or property professional willing to serve in the  project to regenerate our City Library. Our target is to get the Library fully renovated by 2020
fully renovated by 2020
Alternatively if you have a talent for Social Media and fundraising, we would love to hear from you so you can be our ambassador to champion our campaign. Also if you can recommend a great Artist to design a Sculpture or Statue for the Library that will stand as a symbol for our motto Educating Minds | Changing Lives
 

Social Projects

Mentoring

We curate local community based programmes in Real Estate, Retail, Library Information, Technology & Communications and other areas. Visit our events page for current schedule .
Join our professional young person mentoring programme to learn more about Social Enterprises, Real Estate, Property Management and  other areas of business.
fully renovated by 2020
 Fundraising Disclaimer: Keystone Consulting is acting on its own accord and as a trading division of Keystone Group Ltd as part of its CSR program through The Henry Morrison Limula Foundation to raise funds for Lusaka City Library per Memomrandum of Understanding signed between  then Je T'aime Bridal Ltd Directors Jennifer Nash & TIm Nash and the Lusaka City Council in 2009. Keystone is not a charitable organisation; but a Social Business Enterprise which practices a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) policy of People, Planet and Profits. Therefore all funds raised will be disbursed according to how Keystone Group sees fit and will be held in a private account not affiliated to any public funds. Keystone reserves the right to approapriate at least 30 % of funds raised towards offsetting admin costs incurred by the company including but not limited to staff pay, appointment of a professional auditing & accounting firm such as PWC. Keystone will endeavour to put 70 % of all funds raised towards marketing (events and materials), feasibility study, planning, consultaion and construction of a newLusaka City Library building; pending planning permisions from the Local authorities. All accounts will be published to the public at the year end along with Keystone's own accounting reports and according to the requirements of HMRC and ZRA guidelines.