On Friday 19 July, Breadline Africa established its 10th library in partnership with Room to Read at Matseke Primary School in Atteridgeville, Pretoria. The infrastructure project was funded by Breadline Africa’s individual donors.

The library is fully resourced and used daily by 879 children between the ages of seven and 13. In addition to providing ongoing literacy-development training to teachers, Room to Read has also donated library furniture and approximately 3,000 books to the school.

Many of the children attending the school live in surrounding informal settlements and are bussed into school each day by the Education Department. With support from Royance Feeding Scheme, a non-profit organisation, the school is also able to offer the children two meals a day: porridge in the morning and a warm meal at lunch time.

Mr Mokganya Matsapola, the Senior District Education Specialist in the Library Services Department, said, “Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services and great libraries create communities.” Ultimately this is the path that the school should be on – producing self-sufficient and successful community members.

The feisty and dynamic principal of Sefako Makgatho Primary has been supporting, coaching and mentoring the newly appointed acting principal of Matseke Primary School. She advised the principal to consider abolishing any kind of punishment for the school children and to adopt her own strategy, that is, sending the children to the library to read a book and re-telling the story to other children.

Ms Puleng Phooko from Breadline Africa mentioned how pleased she was to see two Breadline Africa-supported schools (Sefako Makgatho Primary and Matseke Primary) working together and supporting each other. She went on to say that how sad it is that in South African schools there is still a shortage of quiet spaces where children can strengthen and grow their minds, knowledge, creativity, numeracy and literacy. At Breadline Africa, we believe that we are making a positive contribution in the literacy space.

The team was joined by two of Breadline Africa’s dedicated regular donors, who came to share in the celebration.

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