As Nelson Mandela once said, “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”  Literacy sits at the core of ASAP’s vision to uplift young lives, providing a solid foundation to independence, clearing the way to opportunity.

Our literacy drive to create school libraries close to each of our drop-in centres has grown from strength to strength, bringing a wealth of knowledge and imagination to scores of classrooms across the Eastern Cape.  Just this last month (July 2013), thanks to you, 16 brand new cupboard libraries were delivered to 2 schools near our Sakhikamva community care centre.  That’s three thousand two hundred books carefully selected from 10 publishers, with titles in English, Xhosa and Sotho.

Cupboard Library Love.  With carefully selected books in Xhosa, Sotho & English

Cupboard Library Love. With carefully selected books in Xhosa, Sotho & English

As with the three other disadvantaged schools that were transformed back in February, thanks to a fantastic donation of $25,000 from Patricia Blanchet of the Ed Bradley Family Foundation, matched by very generous ASAP private donors, the amazing Pakama Ncume has once again provided comprehensive librarianship training to staff members to help bring out the very best from this precious resource.

give a child a chance to read

Our 2011 Christmas Book Campaign managed to secure an entire library’s worth of books

Of course, one of the main forces behind our literacy campaign, has been the Ed Bradley Foundation, set up in memory of the legendary CBS award winning journalist Ed Bradley, who once recalled, “As a child, I loved to read books. The library was a window to the world, a pathway to worlds and people far from my neighborhood in Philadelphia.”

‘My friend, the late Ed Bradley, used to be a teacher before he rose to the top of his field as a television journalist, ‘ Says Priscilla Higham.  “Through his widow, his Foundation now funds the libraries.  His favourite painting by Jacob Lawrence, the renowned African American painter, depicts an old man surrounded by children, reading a book.  I like to think that Ed lives on teaching African children to read and promoting literacy in the Eastern Cape.’

Hundreds of children now benefit from Ed Bradley's powerful legacy.

Hundreds of children now benefit from Ed Bradley’s powerful legacy.