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South Africa


Shine is a project IRFF UK support in Walmer Town, South Africa. This is a very poor area. Shine operates from two bright yellow containers in a primary school ground.  It is a quintile school, which means no fees are paid.  

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Stellenbosch Cape Town South Africa
The Problem

South Africa is now the most unequal country in the world. Among 50 countries, South Africa faired the worst in literacy. The stats of 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy (PIRLS) discovered that 8 out of 10 Grade 4 (9-10 year olds) learners in South Africa cannot read for meaning.

Since the pandemic, learners have lost a year of school. Most are too poor to afford smart phones or wifi for online learning,  and the school cannot photostat hundreds of sheets of work. 


The only way out of poverty is education.  The South African government recently said that children who do not learn to read properly, will likely not finish school.


This is what we are determined to change. These school kids learn so quickly that we are left hoping that they will continue to read and haul themselves out of their poverty.  We feel we have good tools to help them get there.  

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What is offered

According to the curriculum, learners must be taught in English from Grade 4. We take the Grade 3 learners and immerse them in books and reading, with comprehension, in English. Many kids have not heard any English.

For one hour at a time, one volunteer sits with 2 learners.  The hour has 4 parts:

  • 15 mins an educational game (with anything using dice being the favourites)

  • 15 mins they read to us (the books reflect their lives)

  • 15 mins they write sentences (we use phonetic methods and we never correct their work but instead praise their brave efforts),

  • 15 mins they are exhausted now, so we read a book to them.

How does IRFF contribute to this project

IRFF UK sends monthly funds to help cover the costs of several needed items such as school books, ink cartridges for printer as well as school shoes for children.

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