The effects of the literacy crisis in South Africa are far reaching and touch every area of SA society, deeply affecting and further marginalising the poor. Research studies conducted around the world show that reading for pleasure motivates learners to read more, and when they read more, they start to become better readers. This in turn improves their comprehension and subsequently their ability to learn. In fact, learners who read because they enjoy it perform better in all subjects, including science and maths. Sullivan & Brown 2013.

Illitracy in South Africa Information Chart


  • More than half of SA's youth are unemployed
  • It is estimated that SA's GDP would be 23% - 30% higher if the population were fully literate
  • There's a lack of books at primary school level & the majority of schools are severely under resourced

There's a lack of books at primary school level & the majority of schools are severely under resourced.


Education is at the heart of what SOHT does

Early Childhood Development (ECD) is crucial for future generations to be able to rise above.


We want children to fall in love with the written word

Literacy at primary school level is the most cost-effective investment in the fight against poverty and poor educational achievement.


From the beginning of 2018, the Trust's focus will be on improving literacy levels in SA by partnering with:

  • Shine Literacy
  • Nal'ibali
  • & the Bright Kid Foundation


Achievement Reading for meaning - every child's school career depends on it.

Sustainability Reading skills are skills for life.

Community Investment in literacy can be shared & grown in the community long after a child has graduated.


"Learning to read for meaning and pleasure is the bedrock of primary schooling.
As a nation, we are plagued with inequality and injustice, and we face countless challenges.
But we have to stand up and say that this skill is the one non-negotiable."

Here's what we'll do

  1. Implement a literacy intervention programme at primary school level (Grade 2 & 3)
  2. Provide children who struggle to read with one-on-one attention from a volunteer reading helper
  3. Establish stand-alone reading or literacy centres at under developing primary schools to provide much needed remedial support to students in Grade 1 to Grade 3

To achieve this, SOHT has formed a strategic partnership with:

Shine Literacy (Est. 2006)

An award-winning and highly reputable NPO. Shine Literacy programmes are in 66 schools and 4 provinces - directly supporting over 4500 children every week. By partnering with Shine Literacy, Signature of Hope will establish independent Literacy Centres to support under performing primary schools in 2018 and beyond. We are going to drive their well-known Shine Literacy Hour at our Centres. These well-loved sessions provide individual support to school children to help strengthen their individual reading, writing and speaking skills. For more

Other new partnerships include:

  • Nal'ibali
  • Bright Kid Foundation
  • Smart Brain

For more on our new partnerships click here