top of page







The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) reported that in 2021 South Africa ranked last out of 57 countries. Sadly, 81% of Grade 4 children in South Africa are functionally illiterate (up from 78% in 2016).

The recent Department of Basic Education and UNICEF South Africa Study revealed that 43% of households in South Africa have zero access to books. The 2023 National Reading Survey, launched by the Nal’ibali Trust on 13 June 2023, found that two-thirds of homes with children under age ten do not have a single children’s book, and only 10% have more than ten books. This means most South African children arrive at school without important early home learning experiences.

READ to RISE is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting youth literacy in schools in South Africa's under-resourced communities. As the name indicates, we firmly believe that children need to read in order to rise in their personal development and contribution to society.  We hope to create a nation of inspired readers.


We believe that children who love reading, will excel at school and go on to become constructive members of society. It all starts with reading.


READ to RISE's vision is to create a nation of inspired readers.


We have designed programmes to directly address these root causes of poor reading levels. We also believe that book ownership can ignite a love for reading.  Click here to read about our programmes.

R2R Lantana Primary_0573.jpg

Give the gift of reading

Book Ownership Campaign

Please support our campaign to give a new story book to 20,000 children in Mitchells Plain and Soweto. For only R50 a child. 

huguenot 2.jpg
About READ to RISE...
READ to RISE on Espresso

A wonderful way to keep someone's legacy alive.


Sponsor books in memory of a loved one or sponsor books for a birthday.


A gift that will live and grow as these young children will live and grow.


We will stamp the person's name in the book/s and email you a photo of the child/ren receiving the book as well as the certificate. 

Legacy Certificates

Read to Rise Impact 181223.png



“What an incredible experience. For some of these kids, it will be the first book they’ve EVER owned. The joy on some of their faces… no words. A very BIG thank you to READ to RISE for their fantastic work you do with our young generation.         

 "the day my child came home with one of these books, he was so excited. He asked me to read to him, which was something new. What came as the biggest shock was when I finished the story he asked me questions and then explained the story to me in detail. I didn't realise that a book could bring so much joy to a child."                  


“There is an immense change in my grade 2 learners. They are more energetic and eager to read. It seems their understanding has also peaked due to the books they have received. Thank you Read to Rise.”                                   

Teacher, Mitchells Plain


2022 Western Cape Cultural Affairs Award for Substantial Contribution to Development and Advancement of Reading and Literacy.

More here.


Comedy Night Fundraiser

Date: 3 June 2024

Time: 6pm

Venue: West End Primary School Hall

Price: R100 per person

All profits go tot READ to RISE.

Comedy Final.jpg

"Children choose to do what they enjoy. This is why Read to Rise makes reading fun."
~ Athol Williams, Co-Founder

bottom of page