Noluthando School for the Deaf was established in 1988 as a special needs education centre in Khayelitsha, serving 303 learners between the ages of three and 18 years. Learners are drawn from various communities, but the majority are from Xhosa-speaking families.
The principal, Ayanda Ncinane, seeks to create equal opportunities for all the learners and to give them the skills to become contributing members of society, to the best of their ability. The school seeks to ensure that the children develop and nurture a love for reading by allowing them to take books home to read and to improve their literacy skills.
Unfortunately, there was no space for a proper library and not enough access to age- and language-appropriate books to support the need to read. The children had to settle for a small corner shelf library in the computer laboratory, with fewer than 1,000 books, all of which were outdated and old.
Never one to let his children down, Ayanda swung into action and began a fundraising campaign for the school library and approached the team at Breadline Africa for assistance. “We were delighted to help,” explained Director, Marion Wagner. “We recently relocated a classroom from Rawsonville (originally donated in 2016 by the van Dedem Foundation) which was no longer required and were looking for an inspirational school to donate it to. We oversaw the renovations and conversion into a library and provided an additional 800 books for the children. We are thrilled to see the structure live on to help children improve literacy levels for many years to come.”
“Thank you to the donors,” said Ayanda. “You have invested, not just in our learners and teachers, but the entire community, as we plan on opening the library up to the public in a year’s time. When you make an investment at the bank you would be lucky to get an interest rate of 10% back, but you won’t get that from us, our return on investment starts from 60% and above. The children will be able to read with understanding, they will be able to read with meaning – that is the investment you have made. They will be able to enter competitions such as spelling bees and compete against other schools.”
The future looks bright for the children of Noluthando and the community of Khayelitsha.