My daughter started school this year. She is just in the local public school and I have been amazed by the resources available. Her teacher has been teaching Kindy for 20 years, there are computers in the classroom and resources on the walls, but most of all there are books, books in a reading corner, books in the library, books to take home, books to just enjoy reading. That is on top of all the books at home. I cannot imagine her not being able to read and write, it is just not an option for me, but in some places in the world being able read and write is such an advantage and so far out of their grasp. One of these places is Mitchell’s Plain, Cape Town.
At Colour Conference this year we are launching a literacy project being run by Hillsong Africa Foundation (HAF) in Cape Town, South Africa. Over the past couple of years HAF have been working in Mitchells Plain, one of the most dangerous and underprivileged areas of Cape Town. The literacy rates in certain parts of Mitchells Plain I was told were less than 10%. One of the key problems in this area is unemployment, but there is little chance of being employed in many jobs if you cannot read and write. This is a poverty cycle that cannot be broken without basic literacy.
The HAF team have begun a pilot program with a couple of the local primary schools to increase their literacy levels beginning at the kindergarten level so that they have the best chance to learn to read and write.
The Colour Sisterhood is partnering in two ways with HAF. Firstly we have a 500 Project which will raise finance to provide training and resources for teachers in these pilot primary schools. This will give the teachers the skills required to help children in their class which both places value on the teachers by up-skilling them as well as on the students giving them the best start in life.
Secondly we wanted a way of resourcing the schools with readers and books that the children can use in the classroom to practice on. Most of these children have no books at home or in the classroom. We have created a catalogue of 500 books that have been requested by the schools that HAF are working with and can be purchased by you online and sent directly to the school. You can pick your favourite book or your child’s favourite book, purchase online and know that a child in Cape Town will have the same joy from it that you have had.
This is such a great option for those of you that want to have that personal involvement and to do something practical or those that want to add a social justice element to your child’s birthday party for those kids ‘that have everything’ or even something you can get your local school involved in.
The project is simple:
1. Jump online coloursisterhood.com
2. Pick a book from the catalogue.
3. Follow the link and purchase from the site (just set up your own account).
4. Ship to the address listed on the catalogue.
5. Pray for the child that will be reading this book.
You can do it from home, from work, from your smartphone… with your friends, on your own or with your local school. Maybe you can only buy one book, maybe 50, but whatever you do will make a huge difference to the children that receive them.
We can make such a difference to a child we may never meet by creating the environments that we take for granted for our own children.
Thank you in advance for your generosity!
The Colour Sisterhood Team
For more information on The Colour Sisterhood and our initiatives, please visit coloursisterhood.com and follow us on Twitter @ColourSistahood, Facebook.com/coloursisterhood and Instagram @ColourSisterhood