Cause Index


help2read’s mission is to motivate the literate adult population in South Africa to pass on their skills to the next generation, helping children to become confident readers. The key to the future of help2read is the recruitment and development of volunteers from underprivileged communities.

What is help2read?
 help2read is a child literacy organisation based in Cape Town that operates in both Cape Town and Gauteng primary schools through a volunteer workforce
 help2read is based on the 38 year old UK child literacy charity, Volunteer Reading Help
 735 reading helpers are currently active in 110 primary schools improving the lives of 1682 children.

How does it work?
 We recruit and train volunteer reading helpers before placing them in primary schools, where they help children who struggle with reading English
 Reading helpers dedicate half an hour of their time to each child, twice a week and provide them with priceless, long-term, one-to-one care and support
 We make reading fun. We do this by combining reading and playing games.
 Volunteers don’t replace good teaching, they add to it, playing the role of literate adult in the child’s life. The volunteer reading helper's support not only enables the children to learn to love reading but significantly increases their levels of confidence and self esteem

Who are help2read volunteers and beneficiaries?
 97% of the learners who receive help are previously disadvantaged individuals
• Cape Town: Coloured 64%; Black 33% and White 3%
• Johannesburg: Black: 95%; Coloured 2% and White 3%
 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
 Women make up 93% of the help2read workforce

How are volunteers developed and supported?
 All volunteers receive effective, quality training that empowers and equips them with the skills to work with struggling learners
 Training does not end following the reading helper’s placement but continues with regular refresher workshops, the updating of training manuals, quarterly feedback sessions, and the provision of guidance so that a volunteer’s skills and knowledge are constantly developed
 help2read support workers provide ongoing support and recognition, ensuring that volunteers are retained and remain committed to the programme.
 The resources invested in volunteers through this programme empower them by providing them with additional skills and confidence
 The programme also offers our volunteers the opportunity to give back to their communities and build social networks whilst providing a valuable resource to the education system

Key Features of help2read’s success
 Training
Volunteers receive training which empowers them to work with struggling learners on a one-to-one basis. They help and encourage the children though their positive attitude, understanding and a commitment to work with each child for 2 half hour sessions each week for a full year.
 Support
The regular support provided by help2read support workers, ensures that volunteers are retained, remain committed and speak highly of the programme to other potential volunteers.
 Continuing Development
Training continues well beyond the volunteer’s placement in the school with regular refresher workshops, the updating of training manuals, book exchanges, and the provision of guidance. This ensures that the volunteer’s skills and knowledge are constantly developed.
 Resources
help2read provides fun books, games and other materials which are quite different from books the learner will see in the classroom. This system encourages a love of reading.

Contact Details

Robert Michel: Chief Executive Officer
6 Alma Road,
Rosebank, 7700, Cape Town SA

Tel: 021 685 8085 Fax: 086 511 2399

Banking Details: help2read
Cheque Account - 4071 214 490
Claremont Branch


Auditors: Grant Thornton
PO Box 1550, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 440 5000

Company Registration: 2005/044040/08 (Association Incorporated under Section 21 of the Companies Act, 61 of 1973

NPO Number: 063979

Section 18A PBO Number: 930027054