Promoting Literacy in SA's Township Reading Clubs

by help2read Vetted since 2013 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified


Most of South Africa's poorest communities lack educational infrastructure & resources, leading to 78% of Grade 4 children not being able to read for meaning in any language. Illiteracy breeds exclusion and perpetuates poverty. help2read builds literacy by training unemployed township youth as literacy tutors and helping them establish & operate community reading clubs in townships - safe educational spaces that promote family literacy & a love of reading and help children secure a good future.

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There is an enduring literacy crisis in South Africa. According to a recent PIRLS research, 78% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning, 29% are completely illiterate. The majority of primary schools are severely under-resourced & overcrowded with just 2 or 3 books shared between an entire classroom. Furthermore, there are no community libraries in townships and few homes have books, so most children cannot engage in reading activities throughout holiday periods, leading them to fall behind.


Our literacy intervention programmes are run in primary schools where children who struggle to read are provided one-on-one reading help. Moreover, we establish educational infrastructure in communities through Reading Clubs. Through consistent literacy input, reading help & fun activities, the children we help don't only learn to read, they fall in love with it. We believe building literacy skills is the most cost-effective investment in the fight against poverty & poor educational achievement.

Long-Term Impact

Literacy is the foundation for all learning & for future opportunities; the ability to read is the building block for learning and ensures children get the most out of their schooling. It enables access to health, education, employment and it strengthens democracy & civic engagement. Literacy directly tackles unemployment by providing skills. Central to a thriving economy is a literate, educated & skilled workforce. South Africa's GDP would be est. 25-30% higher if the whole country was 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:/​/​
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @help2read
Project Leader:
Nicole Kalkman
Century City, Western Cape South Africa
$6,341 raised of $46,875 goal
61 donations
$40,534 to go
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