Heifer International South Africa's Read to Feed programme motivates children to read books so they can help impoverished, struggling families around the rural areas in South Africa's three provinces namely, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Limpopo. Not only are students inspired to read books for pleasure, at the same time they are introduced to important global issues and given a tool to use to help end world hunger and improve the environment. They are able to connect reading and learning with helping others and being part of the global community.
Learners from Crawford Preparatory School
By Ms Philippa Greenwood
The school librarian, the teachers and Heifer work hand in hand to create resources for the programme. Children get permission from their parent or guardian to participate. Teachers begin the programme by suggesting a reading list or having the children choose books they like.
Time and fundraising goals are set and children get sponsors for the number of books they will read. Students begin reading the books and continue classroom discussions about hunger, world population, global food distribution, cultural diversity, the environment and other important issues.
At the chosen time, children collect the money from their sponsors and turn it in to the teacher, who then sends it to Heifer.
CHILDREN CHANGING THE WORLD
Our children hear and witness much about poverty, environmental degradation, war and violence. Though they may seem carefree, young people are concerned about the world they will inherit. They need to feel that they can do something in order to cope with such complex, troubling information.
The Read to Feed programme gives children a positive, simple way to directly address some of these complex issues, and lets them know that they have the power to change the world. Read to Feed does much more than improve reading and comprehension skills. It is a powerful vehicle for teaching students to care by bringing together the mind and the heart in the classroom. It fosters parental involvement, builds character and inspires team spirit.
Through Read to Feed, Heifer focuses on young people and those inspired teachers who are willing to challenge children to become global citizens by taking action to solve some of the world's most urgent problems.
During the current fiscal year, the Read to Feed programme has raised huge amounts of money from Crawford Preparatory School in La Lucia, Bishops Preparatory School in Cape Town and the Wykeham Collegiate in Pietermaritzburg.
We thank all the participating schools on behalf of all our beneficiaries.