Mrs. Vaaltyn principal of Lettie De Klerk Primary School

Breadline Africa Container KitchenBarbara Vaaltyn is a strong South African woman, who continues to make a meaningful change in her community, despite the limited opportunities Graaff Reinet. Families in this quiet, tiny town of the Karoo depend largely on social grants, and resources are limited.

Mrs. Vaaltyn is the principal of Lettie De Klerk Primary School – Breadline Africa donated a kitchen to the school. She has made it her mission and has dedicated her life to giving back selflessly to young people who have lost hope for a better life. Her strength, determination and commitment, encourages young learners to believe that they can be better individuals, despite the enormous challenges they face daily.

She is an ordinary woman, making extraordinary changes in the lives of young people – showing them that they can do it, for themselves and for their country.

Ending the Cycle of Illiteracy

7 July 2016

The ability to read is invaluable. It is the underlying skill that drives schools, businesses and governments throughout the world. If the importance of literacy is universally acknowledged, why is it that so little money is directed towards improving it? It’s no secret that South Africa has room for improvement in terms of reading skills; only 35% of children can read by the age of 12. And according to the Department of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch, “South Africa’s economy would be 23-30% larger if we had a fully literate population” (Harrison, 2015). However, acquiring universal literacy is not an easy task, especially if there aren’t concrete efforts during primary school years. These years are critical for brain development, making it much easier for a child to acquire a new skill. If these critical years are missed, it is much more difficult for a person to learn to read later in life.

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