Project information

Read Today, Lead Tomorrow

A dual goal - South African volunteers will help children in their local school learn to read and achieve in education. These unemployed adults will gain valuable training and work placements. Literacy rates are increased through community involvement and unemployment rates are reduced.

January 2015 - December 2015

Charity information


help2read logo
  • Need


    South Africa has come a long way but the gap between rich and poor is still wide and there is a high level of unemployment. The education system has many under-resourced and over-crowded public primary schools. Children who are struggling to read in English are often in large classes and do not receive the support they need. In the township communities there are many literate unemployed adults with the ability to help but lack of opportunity.


    On average each help2read school has 20 children benefitting from 36 hours of free literacy tutoring in an academic year. We work with primary schools to recruit volunteers from the surrounding community who receive training and are supported by the help2read staff team in South Africa. The learners are helped on a one-to-one basis, receiving two sessions a week at school. This support significantly increases the children's literacy level, confidence, self-esteem and develops a love of reading

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Raise literacy rates - 500 children learn to read and have the skills to continue through school


    » Enrol 500 illiterate children recommended by their teachers into the project schools in Gauteng and Western Cape
    » induct four new primary schools in Gauteng and Western Cape, set up reading areas and train tutors

    500 children escape illiteracy, their achievement in school is higher and schools' literacy scores are raised

    Aim 2

    Escape unemployment - offer 45 unemployed women a path into formal work and regular income


    » Recruit and train 45 Literacy Tutors to support children learning to read in primary schools
    » Run employment skills workshops during each term and arrange work placements at the end of the year

    45 women sucessfully complete the school year and go on to be placed in a permanent job

  • Impact


    help2read creates a cycle of community involvement by motivating adults to participate in local schools. While they help illiterate children, these people are also improving their own lives. By supporting students in this vital phase, the children’s chance of success in school and of finding employment as adults is greatly increased. Assessment of students as they progress through school and feedback through volunteers, teachers/heads and parents will demonstrate achievements.


    Literacy tutors occasionally drop out of the programme and so we do our best to ensure that when this happens the learner can be paired with another tutor and can stay on the programme.


    Donors receive thank you letters as well as regular updates circulated via the website, Twitter and Facebook. Donors also receive a newsletter and major donors receive individual reports.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £60,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £7,000 Learner resources Books and educational materials, stationery and printing
      £21,000 Volunteer support Recruitment, induction materials, monthly stipends
      £18,000 Project management Field staff to train and support volunteers and schools, reporting
      £4,000 Training Employment workshops, literacy training and ongoing support
      £4,000 Admin Accountancy, communications, child protection, office rates
      £6,000 Monitoring and evaluation Asssessment and analysis of students and volunteers
  • Background


    h2r's Johannesburg office is in the largest urban area in Southern Africa, Gauteng, an economic hub and magnet to refugees seeking work. In 75% of primary schools, more than half of students come from economically disadvantaged homes. More than 800 primary schools in Gauteng have been assessed by the Education Department as needing literacy support. Gauteng borders the North-West province, home to communities such as Marikana which serve the mining industry, a region of poverty and unrest.


    It benefits two main groups from disadvantaged backgrounds – school children and unemployed women. In addition teachers and school management receive support and resources to build sustainable school literacy programmes, families of the children and volunteers benefit from increased economic stability through employment and better long-term opportunities. The whole local community benefits through the partnership of families and schools.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    help2read has provided literacy support to children in primary schools in Southern Africa since 2006 and it is the largest literacy NGO. It is adapted from a successful 40 year-old British government-endorsed volunteer reading model (Beanstalk). In 2012 help2read was recognised as a recommended partner for South African schools seeking literacy support in basic education. Since its founding help2read has enabled 8000 African children to learn to read and improve their lives through education.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alex Moss - Chairman And Founder

    London businessman who was head of the North London chapter of Beanstalk and lives in the UK and South Africa. He founded help2read in 2005.

    Manoj Chiba - CEO help2read South Africa

    Former Director City Year S Africa, faculty of Gordon Inst Business, oversees field team in South Africa with experience in teaching and social work.