A CSI funder, a district office and a “warm body” help get a school library up and running.


For the first time in the school’s long history, every child at the Sizwile School for the Deaf in Dobsonville, Soweto spends one period a week in a new library stocked with over 1000 books.  The selection gives them access to books across every imaginable genre.  For deaf and hard of hearing children who are excluded from so much that we take for granted in the hearing world, this is a tremendous gift. Continue reading “A CSI funder, a district office and a “warm body” help get a school library up and running.”


Developed and operated the flagship CSI programme that linked the company with the long term development plans of one partner primary school – Nomfihlela Primary – in Kwa-Ximba, KZN. The programme offered extensive literacy and numeracy support; improved school infrastructure, and the development of school sports and extra-mural activities. Continue reading “AstraZeneca”


Social Innovations developed and operated after school homework clubs housed in JHC residential buildings. The clubs offered tutored homework, activities to improve reading skills, and a library programme to inspire in children the love of reading. Continue reading “JHC”

Thandulwazi teacher development programme

Impressed with the work that was being done by the Thandulwazi teacher development programme (a programme of the St. Stithians Foundation), Social Innovations encouraged PEP to fund the organization as its second flagship CSI programme.  Enabled by this funding, Social Innovations has worked with Thandulwazi to replicate its Gauteng based teacher development programme in Limpopo.  Over 400 teachers have self-registered for Saturday training and development sessions.  Continue reading “Thandulwazi teacher development programme”


On behalf of LegalWise, Social Innovations has worked with the Sizwile School for the Deaf (Dobsonville, Soweto) to develop a library and library programme for the approximately 280 children of the school.  The library programme aims to introduce and promote reading as an activity that is pleasurable and useful; to introduce children to a broad genre of books as well as other content; and to help foster a culture of reading and enquiry at the school. Continue reading “LegalWise”

A giant peach starts a life long journey of discovery and inspiration.

I was recently given opportunity to think about when and how I first became “hooked” on reading. In training a team of teachers to become reading champions at their schools I wanted to talk a little of my own experience. The first time I remember being completely captivated by a book – and addicted the point that I could not conceivably do anything else until it was finished – was when I read Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. I went on to read everything else that he had written for children and adults, but nothing gripped me as much as the story of the

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peach. Continue reading “A giant peach starts a life long journey of discovery and inspiration.”

Read them fairy tales…

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales”, Albert Einstein said. The power and importance of reading to young children was echoed by UNISA’s Prof. Elizabeth Pretorius at a Multilingual Resources for Early Literacy Symposium in Centurion. “It is not just about the magic of story,” she said, “it is about the development of cognitive function. Reading makes you

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101 stories of choice offer a future of promise

Our media is filled with stories of a “dysfunctional” education system, skills shortages and jobless youth. To find the good news in this sector you need to dig beyond the broad social and economic trends to the kernels of hope buried beneath. 101 Stories of Choice, published by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) does just that.

It tells the stories of 101 young South Africans who are going places. Many have

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and a brighter future. South Africa is faced with many challenges. However, to quote one of our storytellers, young people are “privileged and lucky to grow up in South Africa at a time when there are so many opportunities for young people”. It is up to each person to search out these opportunities and to make choices that drive them through barriers that have held back others in their families and communities. Continue reading “101 stories of choice offer a future of promise”