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NGOs partner to get children in Cape Flats reading with online programme

Literacy non-profit organisation, READ to RISE, has partnered with Origin Learning Fund to provide 1,000 children at 5 primary schools in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, with access to the READ to RISE Online Programme.

In South Africa, sadly 78% of grade 4 learners are functionally illiterate. Through the Read to Rise Online Programme, children will improve their digital literacy skills, reading, pronunciation and comprehension skills. This pilot project has been launched at West End Primary School, Littlewood Primary School, Yellowwood Primary School, AZ Berman Primary School and Jamaica Way Primary School where 1,000 children will benefit.

The READ to RISE Online Programme gives children access to the books in the OAKY series (written by award-winning South African poet Athol Williams) and has multiple choice comprehension questions for each book. There is audio for the books which can help children with pronunciation. The READ to RISE Online Programme can be accessed via desktop, tablet or mobile phone. Once the app is downloaded onto mobile phones or tablets, no internet is needed to use the READ to RISE Online Programme.

READ to RISE is a non-profit organisation that promotes youth literacy in under-resourced communities in South Africa. The organisation hopes to inspire children to read through its classroom programmes and also giving each learner access to books. READ to RISE currently offers programmes for Grade 2 and 3 classes and works with all 47 primary schools in Mitchells Plain. To date, the organisation has visited over 6,300 classes to conduct their programme and given out over 286,000 new books.

“In today’s world digital literacy is vital, so we are delighted to partner with Origin Learning Fund to be able to give 1,000 children in Mitchells Plain access to the READ to RISE Online Programme.” says READ to RISE Executive Director, Taryn Lock.

The Origin Learning Fund is a US and Colombian non-profit organisation that focuses on promoting innovative solutions to education challenges and leveraging technology to enhance education outcomes. Their mission is to support educational and leadership development programs for teachers and youth in vulnerable communities. They do that through their own-developed technology, O-lab app. A fully customizable and inclusive web/mobile platform that works also offline and on low-cost devices, adapting to any content, community and language worldwide, indigenous tongues included.

"It is amazing to see how in a short time O-lab has become scalable and effective from Colombia to South Africa, as well as in other countries around the world. READ to RISE is doing an incredible job identifying reading as a key building block for shaping a generation of inspiring new leaders, and we are happy that we can contribute to this by making their programmes digitally inclusive. Read To Rise is the ideal partner for using O-lab and we aspire to multiply these kinds of alliances in Africa as well as the rest of the world", says Tania Rosas, Founder and CEO of Origin Learning Fund.

Origin Learning Fund has partnered with Read to Rise in 2023 with this pilot project and provided 1,000 licences for children in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, South Africa to access the READ to RISE Online Programme.

READ to RISE relies on funding from individuals, trusts and corporates and hopes to continue inspiring children to read. If you are able to assist with sponsorship, please visit or email

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