Quite a while back I wrote a post about an amazing volunteer project where MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet had partnered up with a Johannesburg-based non-profit organisation called (NPO) Better SA and their very innovative and super awesome hop-on hop-off mini-bus volunteer service, which literally arranges everything for you. So, in other words, you jump onto their site volunteer your time and then they will pick you up, drop you off at the place that needs your services and then bring you back again, which means all you have to worry about is arriving at the pick-up point armed with your time that will 100% make a difference to not one but several people’s lives.
I really loved this idea so last month when MySchool asked if I would like to go see what they have done together with Shine Literacy an amazing organisation that has been around for 17 years and assists with South Africa’s high stats around poor reading and comprehension I was super keen to tag along. This year a lot of money raised by MySchool went towards creating Shine Resource Centres which are like mini-libraries; little nooks with books and carpets created to assist kids who are struggling with literacy. The program calls for people who can volunteer their time by arriving at a centre during school once a week to then work one-on-one with students to help improve their reading and writing skills and help them develop a love for reading, which is such a wonderful thing.
We took a ride out to Lerato Primary School to not only see one of these Shine Resource Centres but to also engage a bit with some of the kids that are part of the programme there. Watching these little tykes with their mentors was amazing, they were all so engaged and happy. Some of the women who run Shine mentioned that these kids form such special bonds with the people who volunteer, they look forward to their 2-hour sessions every week, so not only are they learning but they’re also forming special friendships too and that’s why if you do sign up for this it’s not allowed to be for less than 6 months, they also said that they still have some of the same volunteers from 17 years ago when they first started! How awesome is that?!
I was really blown away by what the team at Shine have built and continue to build, their energy and enthusiasm towards this project was electrifying and it actually made me feel pretty emotional.
If anyone is interested in helping Shine with their goal to create a love for reading in children and get them hooked on words and stories, then all you have to do is click through to their website and sign up as a volunteer and if you’re not able to donate your time, then you have the option to donate books and or money. You can also donate to them via your MySchool card so you can really make every swipe count.
I really hope you check this program out, it’s a wonderful initiative that needs all the love and support it can get.