It’s 8 am on Monday morning at Ekukhanyisweni Primary School in Alexandra township, Johannesburg. Refilwe Matomela, a 24-year-old resident of Alexandra, sits down with a Grade 4 learner to start a one-on-one reading session in the container library at the school.
I’ve always known that every child is on their own unique journey as they grow and develop. It was only when I became a Volunteer Reading Helper in 2014 that I realised the important role that reading plays along that journey of development.
Roger Vestey has been an avid reader since he was a child. “I read the entire series of ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’ under my bed covers with a torch for some light”, he said. Knowing the delight that reading at a young age can bring, Roger signed up as a Volunteer Reading Helper after learning about help2read at a local bookstore.
When a hand injury left Trudy Willoughby unable to continue her career as a Physiotherapist, she looked for ways that she could make a meaningful impact through volunteering. “I came across a help2read advert for volunteers in Child’s Magazine”, she said. “I applied and this is where my journey with help2read started.”
Meet Makgotso, a young 23-year-old from Alexandra township in Johannesburg. When Makgotso heard that help2read were looking for new Literacy Tutors, she knew that it would be the perfect opportunity for her to give back to her community.
When Sonelisa walked past a help2read poster on the Wits University campus, she knew she had to find out more. As a teacher in training, Sonelisa is passionate about Education and volunteering as a Reading Helper seemed like the perfect fit for her.
When Veronica Hendricks retired at the end of 2011, she decided to use her time to do something impactful for her community. A resident of Athlone in Cape Town, Veronica saw an ad in the local newspaper calling for Reading Helpers.
Meet Deena Chetty, a Volunteer Reading Helper at Claremont Primary School in Cape Town. Deena returned to South Africa after 13 years of living abroad and was overwhelmed by the harsh realities that exist throughout the country.
My journey began as I stepped into London, a buzzing city with vibrant people and energized in every aspect. Shortly after our arrival, we met the team at our sister organization Beanstalk, a diverse group of people who are passionate about literacy.
On the 2nd of October, three help2read staff members embarked on a Learning Share Journey to London to visit our literacy sister charity, Beanstalk. It was a very educative journey of many miles around the UK, which was akin to climbing a giant beanstalk!