#READPOWER - LIGHT UP FOR LITERACY
The latest Progress in International Reading Literacy Study which assesses children’s reading comprehension in developed and developing countries ranked South African children last. The
statistics show that 78% of Grade 4 pupils in South Africa cannot read for basic meaning. That means, eight out of ten 10-year-olds in South Africa are functionally illiterate. A 78% illiteracy rate in Grade 4 pupils means that the next generation of South Africans will enter the workforce without basic comprehension skills. We will have a generation without the capacity to learn, teach and lead. This coupled with the South African Youth Unemployment rate being 55.7% at the end of Q1 of 2019 paints a despairing picture for South Africa’s future.
We need to foster a culture of reading and learning but unfortunately every night millions of South African children face the serious struggle of trying to read and do their homework by
candlelight or kerosene lamps, due to their parents not being able to afford electricity. Not only is the lack of electricity a safety risk, with over 5283 informal dwelling fires recorded by municipalities for the 2016/2017 municipal reporting period, but the long-term effects on children are devastating with health risks from their eyes being strained to acute respiratory infections developed from continued exposure to indoor smoke.
The lack of access to electricity also creates far-reaching socio-economic development challenges. The inability to read and learn directly impacts a child’s ability to improve their circumstances, therefore, continuing the cycle of poverty.
A report by the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Development noted a positive link between household access to electricity and improved educational outcomes. Children in a household with access to electricity and adequate lighting spend more time doing homework compared to those in households without access.
SolarAid, an international charity that provides solar lights to remote regions in the African continent conducted focus group discussions with school children in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania
and Zambia and discovered that students rated limited lighting as their biggest obstacle to learn and do their homework.
SECURE SOUTH AFRICA’S FUTURE
By contributing to the READPower Programme, you can:
• improve the national literacy rate
• make a positive impact to the course of a child’s life and break the cycle of poverty
• improve the lives of millions of South African families living without access to electricity
• secure South Africa’s future by ensuring that the next generation will be able to read, learn and lead.
READPower is a partnership between Asani Energy and Educubed Foundation to LIGHT the way to national LITERACY. As an integral component of modern society, access to electricity and lighting play a pivotal role in economic prosperity, with a fundamental contributor to economic growth being education.
Asani Energy is an integrated energy company involved in the development of large-scale power generation projects, the distribution of lubricants and the implementation of electrification
solutions aimed at addressing the consequences of a lack of access to electricity experienced by those living in rural communities and informal settlements.
Educubed is a non-profit organisation focused on providing a supportive ecosystem that develops and empowers South Africa’s young talent to be global leaders by investing in them through initiatives focused on education because quality education has the potential to increase the employability and income-generating capacity of an individual.
Asani and Educubed believe in the importance of fostering a culture of reading. Reading is how we are able to discover new things and develop ourselves. The ability to read is a vital skill in being able to function in today's society as it:
• helps to promote brain development
• gives us the opportunity to tell our own stories
• creates independence where children can learn outside the classroom
• improves communication skills, a large number of children are growing up with low self-esteem
due to poor communication skills, they suffer isolation and struggle to learn academic concepts
• can break the cycle of poverty