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The power of reading

Categories: ALL THE NEWS , Education
Literacy Day is celebrated on Friday (08 September 2017), it is a day meant to raise consciousness about the high levels of illiteracy.

Twenty-nine years ago, Mustadafin Foundation introduced a literacy programme to those who were unable to read and write. Since then, the Foundation has made it their primary objective to actively promote literacy and education, as an instrument to empower individuals and communities.

Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, Director at Mustadafin Foundation, says, “Mustadafin Foundation firmly believes that literacy and education is the cornerstone in building a positive future. Mustadafin has made it their aim to ‘teach human beings how to live with other human beings’ and to provide every human being with the skills, capacities and opportunities to overcome circumstances in becoming agents for positive change through education.”

This year Mustadafin Foundation is celebrating Literacy Day with the theme, “The power of reading”. The day honours the engagement, efforts and progress made by the parents and learners in Tafelsig towards increasing literacy. It also addresses current challenges and looks to innovative solutions to lift literacy and positive lifestyle.

Previously, participants in the literacy programme were between the ages of 17 and 60 years, however, since the inclusion of the Isibindi project in 2015, Mustadafin discovered over 1000 children, as young as six years old, who were not in school due to learning disabilities and other circumstances. The Foundation introduced Early Childhood Development (ECD) and intervention programmes to prepare them for school and alleviate the social issues and challenges facing the community.

In the past two years, the Cape Town-based non-profit organisation has placed over 16 learners into a college to complete their matric and placed most into mainstream schools while continuing educational classes at the Tafelsig centre. Classes take place Monday to Friday from 8:00 to14:00, to assist those who are still struggling with reading and writing. Breakfast and lunch is provided to each learner. Additionally, they are given supper to take home. Since most of these learners have experienced some form of abuse or trauma in their homes and community, counselling is offered to them.

The Mustadafin Foundation saw the need to incorporate parents by introducing ‘Parenting Workshops’ which consist of group sessions that focus on instilling positive parenting skills. The parenting workshop has evolved into a support group which takes place once a week at the Tafelsig Library facilitated by representatives from the Department of Social Development. Parents have developed great supportive relationships with each other and with the facilitators.  

Rifka Hendricks, a mother of a learner who is part of the literacy program, has kicked the habit of drug abuse through her participation in the Parenting Workshops. She was chosen to represent her team in Parliament and present a talk about rehabilitation. “Currently I don’t want the programme to end as it had endless benefits for me,” she said. Hendricks now motivates and encourages her children to always be in school.

To commemorate Literacy Day with Mustadafin Foundation, come and join parents as they listen to their children recite stories and poetry. The event will take place at Tafelsig Library, Mitchell’s Plain on Thursday, 07 September 2017 from 09:00 to 12:00.

Anyone who would like to be part of the programme can call 021 633 0010, or visit www.mustadafin.org.za, or WhatsApp 079 567 3645.

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