The Vrygrond Community Reading Centre has benefitted from its continued partnership with Projects Abroad, but still help is needed to cater to the needs of the Vrygrond community.Projects Abroad, which has one of their bases in Muizenberg, is a global philanthropic organisation which equips young people with humanitarian skills through volunteer missions in areas where help is needed most. The organisation has been involved with and supplying volunteers for the reading centre for many years, according to Jane Sylvester, the mastermind behind the recent conversion of the community library into a reading centre. Sylvester, who runs the centre and has worked at the library for 19 years, says she has seen many children from poor backgrounds and broken homes come through the doors to learn and improve their reading, among other skills.“I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the children. My colleagues and I sit with the kids and do a five-day programme with them. We also go to the schools to encourage the children to read – we work with Capricorn Primary School the most,” she explains.The centre aims to provide the youth with a safe space to learn and contribute towards making a positive impact on them.Ashwin Scott, care supervisor at Projects Abroad, knows the Vrygrond community well and hopes that the volunteers that make their way to the centre through the organisation are able to make a difference.“A big part of the work that we do is to be extra hands in the community. We have volunteers from all over the world and we want to give them meaningful work to do. It’s all about learning and teaching the child. Even if we can help just one child – it’s something,” he says.Sylvester adds that they are able to make a noticeable difference in the lives of the community’s children because of the grassroots level interaction they are able to have and the relationships they foster. “We know the kids and know the struggles they are having at home or at school or with homework,” she says.In addition to feeding the mind, the centre also tries to feed tummies as best they can with the little resources they have. When in the green, financially, they prepare food for the children who attend their afterschool reading and homework programmes.In order to garner the finances they require, the centre hosts bake sales and clothing thrift sales. “We at Projects Abroad try to assist where we can, but the library needs funding,” says Scott.V To assist the Vrygrond Community Reading Centre, call 067 601 1837 or visit www.vrygrondreadingcentre.co.za.