This year we are celebrating World Book Day with our successful launch of the new literacy centre at Astra Primary School.

The centre at Astra was a collaboration between United Through Sport and another longstanding community development organization in Nelson Mandela Bay, Masinyusane. The centre provides a space for foundation phase children (age 5 – 9) to access one-on-one reading support and a large selection of books, building their passion for learning. We currently have 456 children who attend weekly literacy sessions that take place in the new centre.

This project was made possible through the funding and support of multiple partners, including The Province of Lower Saxony* (through terre des hommes in Germany), Fulham Primary School (in the UK) and the Shout Foundation (through Breadline Africa). We are grateful for their support and inspired by how much we can achieve when we work together!

“The building of this top-quality literacy centre and on-going funding of the programme is testament to the deep and long-standing commitment of our partners from the UK, Germany and South Africa, who have demonstrated time and again their desire to work with us to make a lasting impact in the disadvantaged communities of Nelson Mandela Bay.” – Nick Mould, United Through Sport Director

This program not only helps young children learn to read and develops a lifelong love of learning, but it provides meaningful employment to 11 previously unemployed youth from the surrounding communities. We provide them with training that enables them to deliver one on one literacy sessions to children who need additional support. The programme then aims to place the youth in permanent employment at other institutions within the following 36 months to assist them along their chosen career path.

This project is the second literacy initiative launched in collaboration between United through Sport and Masinyusane in the last two years, following the successful introduction of the Isaac Booi literacy programme in Zwide, employing 17 local youth and supporting over 788 children on a weekly basis.

“We are so proud of this partnership which addresses two fundamental needs of the community, which is early childhood literacy and youth employment.  By helping to address both needs we are making both an immediate and long-term impact in uplifting the community”, Nosipho ‘Spakes’ Xapile, General Manager of United Through Sport.

We are excited to keep encouraging children to learn to read and develop a passion for learning, thank you to our partners who have made this possible!

*“The South African Province of Eastern Cape and the State of Lower Saxony have been cooperating amicably since 1995 and have achieved a lot together. The long-standing, intense partnership is built on a very solid foundation that spans levels and themes: governments, municipalities, schools, sports clubs, non-governmental organisations, churches and businesses enrich the cooperation and regularly provide new impulses. An important focus in development cooperation is in the area of school and vocational education as well as youth development as a whole. Therefore, in 2020, the project “Reading Literacy and Youth Employment” was financially supported by the State of Lower Saxony (Federal Republic of Germany).”