Promoting Literacy in SA's Township Reading Clubs

by help2read Vetted since 2013


Most of our poorest communities have no access to books. No wonder then that some 78% of South African Grade 4 children cannot read for meaning in any language. Illiteracy breeds exclusion and perpetuates poverty. We build literacy by helping unemployed youth gain skills as literacy tutors and helping them establish and operate community reading clubs - creating safe educational spaces in townships, ones that promote family literacy and a love of reading and help children secure a good future.

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There is an enduring crisis in South Africa, Illiteracy. According to recent research, 78% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning, 29% are totally illiterate.The majority of primary schools are severely under resourced with just 2 or 3 books shared between an entire classroom. There are no community libraries in townships and few homes have books. These factors rob South African children of the opportunities to develop literacy skills and fall in love with reading.


We believe literacy at primary school level is the most cost-effective investment in the fight against poverty &poor educational achievement. Our literacy intervention programmes are run in South African schools and provide children who struggle to read with one-on-one attention from a volunteer Reading Helper or youth Literacy Tutor. Through consistent literacy input, reading help and fun activities, the children we help don't only learn to read, they fall in love with it.

Long-Term Impact

Literacy is the foundation for all learning and indeed for effective living. It enables access to health, education, employment and it strengthens democracy and civic engagement. The ability to read is the building block for learning, and ensures children get the most out of their schooling.Literacy directly tackles unemployment by providing skills. Central to a thriving economy is a literate, educated & skilled workforce. South Africa's GDP would be an est. 2% higher if it were more literate.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


Our main website with interesting articles & tips
A day in the life of a LIteracy Tutor

Organization Information


Location: Century City, Western Cape - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Kristen Dembaremba
Century City, Western Cape South Africa
$6,102 raised of $46,875 goal
54 donations
$40,773 to go
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