Offering hope through education

2017-03-28 06:02
 Photo: Kalisha NaickerSome of the members of the Neema Foundation (from left) Ziggie Smit, Lise Mangiza, Hayley Birt and Monica Haines.

Photo: Kalisha NaickerSome of the members of the Neema Foundation (from left) Ziggie Smit, Lise Mangiza, Hayley Birt and Monica Haines.

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MOST people take reading and writing in English for granted and assume it comes naturally to all, however this is not the case. The Neema Foundation, which offers hope in the form of education to all, aims to change this for those who are struggling with English and can’t afford tuitions.

This organisation is non-profit that was started by the Kloof Baptist Church in 2011 and is an arm reaching out into the community.

Speaking to the Fever, one of the teachers of the foundation, Lise Mangiza, said the aim of Neema Foundation is to bring hope through education to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it.

“We decided to focus on reading English as, without reading, learning in any other area is very limited,” she said.

Magiza said that the foundation was unable to source affordable appropriate foundational reading material for pupils struggling in this area and so, over the years, they have developed their own very effective, low cost programme called Gateway into Reading.

She said this is a syllabus that teaches foundational reading, developing basic skills in word recognition and deciphering.

The Neema Foundation is now making this programme available for churches, aftercares and other organisations to use in their communities.

“Neema will provide training for the workers in these organisations, enabling them to run the programme as an independent project. However, the Neema staff will be available to consult and offer advice when necessary.”

Magize said the programme currently­ has eight members that go out into the community and offer skills to pupils and teachers who require it.

“Our aim is to not only teach pupils, but also pass our skills to the teachers as well so they are able to help future generations of pupils.

“This programme has spread so rapidly and we are getting so many requests from schools in the area to come through and train their teachers as well as help their pupils with reading.”

Magiza said some of the success stories are incredible - children’s confidence are boosted, children adapting to read at their reading age within a few lessons as well as children’s spelling is improving drastically.

However, Magiza said that the organisation can only be a success with community assistance.

“We are always looking for retired teachers to get involved in the project as they can help pass on the knowledge as well.

“In addition, monetary donations from people, companies and organisations are also welcome.”

To find out more, to volunteer or donate email,



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