Project information

A brighter future for children in South Africa

Disadvantaged children will receive literacy support at primary schools through the help2read programme. As a result they will become better readers and more confident learners in class. Volunteers will gain new skills and make a difference to children's lives in their local community.

January 2016 - December 2016

Charity information


help2read logo
  • Need


    South Africa has come a long way since 1994 but poverty persists and the gap between rich and poor is substantial. The education system has many under-resourced and over-crowded public primary schools. Multi-lingual teaching in the 11 languages of South Africa is more prevalent, but English remains key. Children who are struggling to read in English often have a teacher with a large class and falling behind makes the chances of success at school, and of gaining employment later, much lower


    help2read’s model is straight forward and effective. We recruit, train and support literate adult volunteers from local communities to help disadvantaged primary school children who struggle to read. Volunteers from the local community are trained, police checked and 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 confidence and literacy levels.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve literacy levels of disadvantaged children who have been chosen by teachers for the programme


    » Provide 600 disadvantaged children in Gauteng and the Western Cape with a year of literacy support
    » Induct new schools in need of the help2read programme

    We ensure that literacy levels improve through staff assessments of school literacy levels and feedback from teachers and volunteers

    Aim 2

    Increase confidence levels so that the children on the programme become more self-assured learners.


    » Ensure that 300+ volunteers are trained in how to build the confidence of their learners
    » Monitor feedback from teachers and volunteers to ensure that the learners have more confidence

    We track confidence levels through feedback from volunteers and teachers

    Aim 3

    To provide committed volunteers with the support and materials they need to deliver the programme


    » Run regular training and refresher workshops for volunteers
    » Provide Book Boxes and resource school reading areas appropriately

    Volunteers regularly give feedback at workshops, in training sessions and direct to their Support Workers which we monitor.

  • Impact


    We assess the progress of the learner over at least one year and feedback from teachers suggest that help2read has a lasting impact. For example; “At the beginning of the year this learner was very shy and kept to herself. She had only one friend to talk to or play with. As she entered into the help2read programme, immediately she became confident, not struggling with reading as before. She enjoys the sessions and her work in class has improved.” Teacher, Habibia Primary


    If a volunteer leaves, usually due to a change in personal circumstances, we do our best to ensure that their learners can be paired with another volunteer and continue to benefit from the help2read programme.


    All donors through the Big Give are thanked directly and can sign up to receive a newsletter in the UK.
    We can also provide specific reports tailored to donor needs.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £80,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £8,818 Recruitment costs Advertising, interviewing, criminal record checks etc
      £7,653 Training and materials Initial training, refresher courses, materials for volunteers to run sessions
      £23,814 Support workers and travel Staff time and travel to schools
      £17,748 Monitoring and evaluation Tracking progress of children in 30 schools
      £8,944 Book boxes for schools Books, materials and creation of dedicated spaces within schools
      £13,023 Project support Contribution to administration and office costs in South Africa and UK monitoring and transfers
  • Background


    help2read operates in urban areas in South Africa, currently in 62 schools and their wider communities. We work throughout the Western Cape and have operated there since 2006. We have also expanded into Gauteng, working in and around Johannesburg, including Alexandra. In both places there is high need for the help2read programme, opportunities for expansion and many children who are struggling to read in English.


    A high proportion of the children we help speak English as an additional language and their parents are keen that they have educational opportunities that were not available to them. Many travel long distances, often from townships, to school each day. The schools have large classes and the teachers are very supportive of additional help for children in their class who are struggling with reading in English. Volunteers also benefit from the impact that their work has on the children.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    help2read has provided literacy support to children in primary schools in South Africa since 2006 and is a well known, popular and established literacy NGO. It is adapted from a successful UK model of literacy support, developed by Beanstalk. help2read has supported over 10,000 children to date - helping each child learn to read and become more self-assured. Feedback highlights the difference this makes in children's confidence, their literacy levels and improves the chances of future success.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alex Moss - Chairman And Founder

    London businessman who was inspired by Beanstalk, saw the need for literacy support in South Africa and introduced the model there in 2006.

    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.

    Mandy Trevor - Regional Manager, Western Cape

    Extensive experience of help2read approach - overseas activity in the Western Cape, produces progress reports and monitors effectiveness of programmes

This learner has made so much progress in her literacy that she has gone from a code 3 (not meeting the pass requirements) to code 5 (60%).

Teacher, Garlandale Primary