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Education Worldwide

help2read, South Africa

6 Alma Road
Rosebank, 7708, Cape Town
South Africa
+27 21 685 8085
+27 86 511 2399


help2read is a child literacy organisation based in Cape Town that operates in primary schools across South Africa through a volunteer workforce. Currently, help2read is active in 111 schools where 686 volunteers are helping 1528 struggling learners with their reading disabilities.

The objective is to empower disadvantaged learners with vital literacy skills and to encourage a love of reading.  help2read’s vision is for all children to leave primary school literate and enjoying reading. Being able to read is something most people take for granted, but for some, achieving literacy is immensely challenging.

Millions of South African children and adults are illiterate, and some pass through the education system without realizing their potential. Almost 80% of South African learners have not developed basic reading skills by the time they reach Grade 5. This is at the heart of the work undertaken by help2read and makes a compelling case. Disadvantaged and underperforming (Grade 2-5) primary school children are the main beneficiaries of the literacy support programme.

52% of volunteers who offer their services to help2read are unemployed and live in disadvantaged areas. They often volunteer as a means of participating in meaningful activities that enhance their skills and self-esteem. 93% of the reading helpers are women. help2read recruits, trains and supports literate adult volunteers from local communities to help disadvantaged primary school children who struggle to read. The volunteers work on a one-to-one basis with each child. Since 2005 help2read changed the lives of 6542 children.