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Project information

ActionRead! Build Youth Community Literacy Leaders

Empower young township adults as Changemakers, developing leadership skills for child, family & community literacy. Train & support unemployed youth to establish community reading clubs; critical infrastructure that provides a safe, educational & recreational space to promote a love of reading

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: help2read

help2read logo
  • Need


    Township schools fail to equip learners with basic literacy skills to provide a foundation for learning. Classes are overcrowded & lack reading resources. Communities have no libraries & no safe, recreational or educational infrastructure especially for children during school holidays. Parents have long working days with little precious time for one-on-one reading help. No wonder that 80% of Grade 5s (9/10 years) have not mastered basic reading skills. Our Literacy Tutors can change that.


    Unemployed township youth are trained as literacy tutors & supported in delivering reading help & operating community reading clubs, providing access to reading resources & literacy skills development programmes and promoting a culture & love of reading. Improved literacy skills will improve comprehension & educational outcomes, opening the doors to life-long learning, providing access to opportunity, improving social mobility and economic wellbeing.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    • Harness the power of youth as community assets, role models & agents of change for young children


    » o Encourage capable, literate youth to recognise their value as assets to the community and their role as leaders & changemakers
    » o Develop the skills of youth to act as Literacy Tutors equipped to implement reading help and literacy development programmes

    What success will look like

    • # youth recruited, trained & engaged in personal/professional development, providing reading help & delivering reading clubs & community literacy activities

    Aim 2

    •Provide personal & professional skills development & mentorship to increase access to opportunities


    » o Ensure LTs receive a variety of skills development & training opportunities in both hard and soft skills to improve employability
    » o Develop life skills and exposure to world of work to enhance ability to successful engage in interviews and secure employment
    » o Provide career guidance and opportunity identification to ensure appropriate career parthways are pursued
    » oHelp youth complete a “My Journey to Work” record, showcasing their training & development + supporting efforts to secure employment/further study

    What success will look like

    • # of youth demonstrating success in securing ongoing career and/or employment prospects, e.g further study, employment or the operation of reading club franchises

    Aim 3

    • Support the improvement of literacy levels in primary school learners attending township schools


    » o Use trained LTs to provide one-on-one reading help during morning school sessions
    » o Provide age and stage appropriate reading resources for classrooms that LTs can use with their chlidren

    What success will look like

    • # primary learners in the programme & average improvement in scholastic performance & reading levels

    Aim 4

    • Build family and community literacy and an active culture and love of reading


    » o Train LTs in the creation and operation of Community reading clubs, safe educational and recreational community spaces that are currently lacking
    » o Assist LTs to establish and operate community reading centres in their neighbourhoods
    » o Subsidise the operation of reading clubs after school and during school holidays
    » o Provide reading and recreational activities to children and invite parents & caregivers to attend relevant workshops and presentations

    What success will look like

    • Successful establishment of operational community literacy activity centres incl # children, parents, family, teachers and community members using them

  • Impact


    Enhancing employability through improved personal and professional development for youth Developing literacy and mastery of reading in learners. Both are sustained, enduring gains that will provide a long-term benefits to individuals, communities and the country through greater access to opportunity and a lifelong impact. The key indicator for learners is improvement in literacy. For LTs, indicators include successful securing of opportunity (work/study) & measurably improved hard & soft skills.


    The primary risks are financial: youth need to earn an income otherwise retaining them is difficult; parents are poor and if centres are not affordable, they will not be utilised. Sufficient funding for long enough is essential to establish literacy centres that will meet the needs of the community in an affordable & sustainable way. Solutions include support from the private sector, strategic partnerships with NGOs, government & local township schools to leverage infrastructure & reduce cost.


    We will post a report on the Big Give (see last year's achievements!). In addition, all donors are invited to sign up to our newsletter at www.help2read.org and our monthly blog posts reporting on achievements, with annual reports and customised donor reports being available on request.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £70,075

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £8,437 Training Training & Deployment of Literacy Tutors
      £26,059 Deployment Literacy Tutor stipends
      £9,555 Reading Clubs Community Literacy Reading Club activities
      £2,559 Workshops Parent / Teacher Development Workshops
      £4,647 Reading resources Reading Resources & Literacy Skills Development Aids
      £7,059 Managers Tutor Supervision Support & Mentorship
      £2,000 Assessments Performance Monitoring & Evaluation
      £9,759 Governance Office overheads, admin, governance`
  • Background


    Our focus is in township communities, deliberate creations of urban planning by the apartheid government to segregate by skin colour; exacerbated by differential access to resources. Sadly townships today remain spatially alienated, under-resourced and overcrowded. Youth have little access to opportunity. The average age of a first time job is 29 for township women. There is little infrastructure, few green spaces, definitely no libraries placing a premium on literacy and a culture of reading.


    Our beneficiaries in the first instance are the young adults trained & deployed as Literacy Tutors and the primary and pre-primary learners they reach in both one-on-one reading help and after school and holiday reading clubs. Also benefiting are educators, parents and community members who have access to safe, educational & recreational facilities that build literacy and increase the potential for educational achievement.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have over 10 years of experience developing literacy skills & reading support to more than 15,500 children from disadvantaged communities. Independent results show an increase of 14.4months in reading levels after 7 months of contact time.. Our LT programme has adapted to the specific needs & constraints of township communities and has already give over 170 youth access to opportunity whilst also building the skills of children: a powerful example of asset based community development.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mandy Trevor

    • Mandy Trevor is the Operations Director who will ensure the overall effective implementation of the programme.

    Polite Zhoya

    • Polite Zhoya is Regional Programme Manager, Gauteng who makes sure LTs are properly equipped and able to impact positively the lives of the children

    Melody Volmink

    • Melody Volmink is Western Cape Relationship Coordinator who ensures that the interests of all participants are served & reading helpers monitored

The Gift of Literacy - Jason's story


Just £6 will help a child participate in a reading club session in the holidays!