• World Literacy Day is celebrated on Tuesday 8 September.
• Ford South Africa is one of the partners with NGO Rally to Read.
• The organisation helps vulnerable communities by providing books and learning materials to six school districts across five provinces.
Ford South Africa celebrates World Literacy Day with its ongoing commitment to Rally to Read initiative with financial and vehicle assistance to the project across the country.
The country's literacy problems were laid bare as the coronavirus pandemic prevented schools from opening and the disparity between rich and poor schools. According to the latest statistics provided by Macrotrends, literacy rates from the 1980s rose energetically from around 75% to 90% in the first two decades.
Between 2015 and 2017 however, the literacy rate then dropped by 7.32%.
We celebrate World Literacy Day on Tuesday 8 September and highlight essential literacy programmes like Rally to Read, which receives help from individuals and corporates, including Ford.
"Many of the challenges faced by our country and its citizens can be traced back to a level of illiteracy, but they often go by unnoticed or ignored. Literacy remains a powerful platform that opens up doors to new opportunities that didn’t exist before," says Neale Hill, managing director of Ford South Africa.
"We believe that by attending to the country’s literacy rates at the earliest stages, we can help create a brighter future for all South Africans. In celebrating World Literacy Day, Ford is committed to help each learner that we directly or indirectly touch through the Rally to Read programme contribute to the next written pages in a united and educated country."
"Improvements in literacy rates is a long and gradual process and depends heavily on initiatives like the annual Rally to Read event to deliver educational books into the hands of the youth. Rally to Read is a flagship programme of the READ Educational Trust, founded in 1998, and spearheaded by now retired McCarthy Motor Holdings CEO and philanthropist, Brand Pretorius.
For the past 21 years, Ford has been part of the program and by supplying its Ranger bakkies to the project In 2019 the carmaker donated R1-million. The company's three-year partnership with Rally to Read will enable the support of 10 project schools in Mpumalanga, a READ trainer, resources for the schools and a Rally weekend to visit schools and deliver the learning resources.
Rally to Read is present in six school districts across five provinces, and the selected schools receive these educational books in protective 'box libraries'.
Ford Rangers come in handy when then 'box libraries' need to be transported across terrain that varies from rocks to riverbeds .
There are advancements in the project and each year these books are replaced by more advanced textbooks and reading material in order for literacy levels to continue to evolve and remain age appropriate.
Teachers are also tutored on literacy and language methodologies by dedicated READ trainers.
To see how you can get involved in supporting this initiative, please visit:www.rallytoread.co.za