In response to the outcry for better educational facilities following the student uprising in 1976, a small group of volunteers gathered at St John’s College to start a movement that would soon spread across the whole of South Africa: the READ Education Trust.
The movement gathered huge support both locally and internationally and soon began building libraries and providing books to underprivileged communities, creating a culture of supporting the less fortunate, which continues to this day in the Rally to Read non-profit organisaton.
Today, 40 years after the student uprising, the organisation continues to support teachers and learners in some of the country’s most remote locations, allowing them to discover and feed their passion for reading and education.
The organisation visits some of the most remote areas in the country to deliver educational material to schools and caregivers who need it most.
“Almost all rural schools have one lack in common – educational resources,” said South Africa’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, who touched on the impact that Rally to Read has made on the lives of the learners. “It is in this need that the Rally to Read provides.
“Sponsors, organisers and participants of the Rally have visited the most remote and needy schools in rural areas to deliver books, teaching aids, science kits, sports equipment, educational toys and other material – all of which are taken for granted at urban schools,” said Ramaphosa.
“But most of all, the Rally delivers hope to rural learners, their teachers and their parents for a better future.”
HOW IT WORKS
The organisation calls on corporations and members of the public to sponsor teacher training, library boxes meals for the children on rally days.
The library boxes delivered are packed with reading materials and educational aides that are relevant to the level of education of the learners. It covers a wide range of topics to help broaden their understanding of the world.
Members travel in convoys consisting of high clearance vehicles meant for gravel roads. This is where the rally element in the organisation’s name comes from.
According to the Rally to Read website, more than R86-million has been raised for education in rural areas for more than 1 000 schools since 1979.
Any individuals or corporations who want to get involved with Rally to Read can have a look at the organisation’s get involved page for more details.
PLAY YOUR PART
Are you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?
If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.