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Current Volunteer Staff

Paul Freedman, Project Coordinator

Paul Freedman with security forces in Goma.

Paul Freedman with security forces in Goma.

Paul is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker from Los Angeles. He began his film career as a commercial editor and director, and today he is inspired by the stories of people who fight for social justice and human rights. His most recent feature documentary, “Merci Congo”, about the deadly war in the DRC, features Fidel Bafilemba, the driving force behind the Lumumba Children’s Library and Learning Center. Fidel’s passion to build the first ever public library in eastern DRC has inspired Paul to be Fidel’s partner in bringing this project to fruition. He has become determined that there will one day be a place for kids to read and relax, to dream, to study, and to discover the tools that might help them understand themselves and the world they live in. 

Julia Taliesin, Marketing and Development Coordinator

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Julia got involved in this project when her university partnered with Paul and Fidel to hold a book drive for the LCL. She continued working on the project even when the book drive ended, and intends to see this project come to fruition. A recent graduate of Simmons University with a degree in journalism, summa cum laude, Julia dreams of writing stories that educate and enlighten readers to a global perspective. A passionate reader and lifelong learner, she is excited to help bring educational access to Goma, but even more excited for all she can learn from DR Congolese youth and culture. Email:

Alice Gottesman, Marketing and Development Coordinator


Alice was introduced to the LCL project in 2016, when her university professor Leonard Mailloux partnered with Paul and Fidel to hold a book drive. Since then, she has continued her support for the project and intends to bring this vision to life! She graduated cum laude from Simmons University in 2018 with a BA in Public Relations & Marketing Communications. During her time there, she held over eight different positions, gaining experience in the international, non-profit, and tech worlds. As a follower of the effective altruism movement she strives to do as much good as possible, and accordingly focuses her professional life on impactful, global work. What excites her most about the LCL is the opportunity to bring educational and technological resources to the youth of Goma, and to see and learn from what they create. 

Simran P. Gupta, Marketing and Development Coordinator


Simran is a trilingual bookworm whose passions lie in storytelling, writing, and amplifying other marginalized voices. She hopes to spend her life somehow empowering communities through knowledge and access to education, and thus feels a very personal connection to this project. She believes that libraries are havens in so many ways, and that every child deserves to experience the magic they hold. She plans to see this project come to fruition, and is thrilled to be able to put her French degree to use in this way.