Literacy for All                                          Literacy for all

HELDERBERG SUNRISE ROTARY CLUB “Literacy for All” project ( LfA ) .

In the new democratic South Africa of Nelson Mandela much progress has been made to alleviate the plight of the previously disadvantaged black and coloured population through the provision of increased housing, electrification and sanitation of townships and additional social security.

However South Africans suffer 27% adult and more than 51% youth unemployment !!!

Unfortunately equal opportunity will for the foreseeable future not significantly reduce or provide equal levels of employment for all South Africans.

The main cause is lack of education and skills of the majority of disadvantaged poor people. Many of their families are dysfunctional and afflicted by AIDS. Typically we find a situation where children receive boring English books or none at all due to incompetence and corruption.

The Helderberg Sunrise Rotary Club of Somerset West is tackling this problem with a “Literacy for ALL” project focussing on 5-8 year olds by providing specially illustrated colourful books (so called Kagiso readers). In total a set of 28 books is distributed to the Grade R and Grades 1-3 classes of ( pre) primary schools participating in the project.

The short stories in pictures and words /short sentences describe realistic day to day events in the life of learners so they can relate very well to these stories. Also they overcome the real hurdle that the only common language of English is not their home language. Identical books are therefore available both in their mother tongue of Xhosa or Afrikaans and also in English. These exciting booklets with African images of words enable them to learn to read much faster and become multilingual by reading these books in their mother tongue and English side by side.    

This approach will make all the difference to become literate and employable. The books also invite a very interactive communication between teacher and learner and amongst learners.

Now in our eighth year we are currently supporting 22 Primary Schools and 5 PrePrimary schools .

Our LfA activities can be summarised as:
i) SELECT schools
ii) FIND sponsors
iii) DONATE books
iv) PROVIDE training to teachers
v) MONITOR progress and
vi) REPORT regularly to sponsors and schools.

WE NEVER GIVE MONEY. So far we have received an amount of some Rand 3 million in donations to fund books and training and some 15 000 learners have used the readers thus far; assuming a lifetime of 7 years, the costs per child is just Rand 150 which is EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD VALUE.

We wholeheartedly want to thank our sponsors amongst others:

Carl Duisberg Foundation

RC Munich-Ost

RC Zurich West

RC Zurich-Nord

RC Reading MaidenErlegh

RC Cambridge

RC Epping

RC Stort Valley

Rabobank Foundation Xs4all

Private Foundation “ Children for Brazil “

Plus numerous generous individuals and institutions


7 April 2018

LfA Committee: Jo Mostert (Co-Chair), Richard Saxby (Co-Chair), Anna-Louise Coetzee, Bev O'Connor, Merle Langenegger, Nico Kooij, Valerie Boddington

Ad Hoc: Carl-Heinz Duisberg, Ton Houben, Robert Fraser 


Archbishop Desmond Tutu has endorsed the Literacy for All programme with the following words:   This wonderful material offers a new start to our hard-pressed teachers and educational system. It restores the worth and dignity of every South African mother-tongue. Above all it makes the teaching and the learning of reading and writing a fun-filled adventure leading to educational success. It is a national treasure.