Children cannot read or write in South Africa. Our literacy scores are amongst the worst in Africa. Children are losing faith and belief in themselves, dropping out of school, and being robbed of their future. At the same time, youth unemployment in South Africa is among the highest in the world. Millions of talented young people are waiting for an opportunity to contribute to society and utilize their own gifts. This project tackles these two issues in a creative and impactful way.
We hire unemployed youth, train them in award-winning literacy interventions, and put them to work in libraries we build in township primary schools. The project thus creates meaningful jobs and provides customized, effective academic support for children. There is no shortcut when educating a child. It takes time, focus, and effort. Our children receive one-on-one literacy sessions for an hour at a time that are customized to the child's needs. Their progress is incredible.
There is no greater investment that a society can make than to invest in the education of its children. Those findings, best articulated by Nobel Laureate Professor James Heckman, inspire the work that we do. Our libraries and literacy sessions will ensure that thousands of children learn to read, to write, and to believe in themselves.