Literacy Tutors: Youth Leaders for Literacy

To empower unemployed township youth into community role models, developing them into leaders in literacy by training them to provide crucial one-on-one reading help to primary school learners in their townships, thereby growing their professional experience whilst giving back to their communities.

history Campaign has now closed

Donations open 12:00 PM, 3 December 2019 to 12:00 PM, 10 December 2019


Registered Charity in England and Wales (1109567)

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Championed by The Coles-Medlock Foundation

  • Zenande has made great progress in her reading, particularly with the fluency in which she reads. She shows a lot of enthusiasm towards reading and has started to read with a beautiful expression.

    — Mrs Knight, teacher of Zenande – Grade 2.

  • With an average number of 51 learners per class in our school, help2read is doing work that the school itself cannot do with the time it does not have.

    — Principal of Carter FC Primary School, Alexandra township

  • Reading a book gives you a sense of belonging, empathy, humility, self-knowledge, confidence, presence and joy. It plays a fundamental role in uplifting a community, especially one with limited or no resources in relation to literacy, such as my own community.

    — Tiaan Piper, Literacy Tutor at Wemmershoek Primary School

  • More young people should get involved in this programme to help break the cycle of poverty; youth are the future and by helping them develop a love of reading, they will be able to finish school and create a better future for themselves.

    — Michelline Davids - Literacy Tutor at Wes-Eind Primary (Franschhoek)


The Literacy Tutor programme is tackling the enduring literacy crisis in South Africa, where 78% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning. This comes with a high cost as low educational attainment is seen as the principle driver of unemployment among youth, with estimates of 67% of township youth unemployed. Illiteracy is highest in disadvantaged communities with overcrowded classes and a lack of reading resources and libraries, where parents nor teachers have time for one-on-one reading help


Unemployed township youth are trained as Literacy Tutors to support primary school learners in one-on-one reading help as well as regular reading clubs. They provide crucial access to literacy skills development for struggling primary school learners, while developing their own employability skills through training. We match learners with committed & trained tutors to simultaneously address the foundation of the problems of poor academic achievement, unemployability and poor economic growth.