It’s been reported that 58% of South Africans live in houses with no books, meaning the reading culture in our country, especially among children, remains weak. In his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa laid out in his Vision 2030 that ‘schools will have better educational outcomes and every 10-year-old child will be able to read for meaning within the next five years.’ This vision can only be realised if all South African citizens do their part in ensuring that our children are well equipped.

Aspen’s Strategic Trade Development Senior Executive Stavros Nicolaou and Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize with learners from Dulcie September Primary School in Rabie Ridge.

Stavros Nicolaou, Aspen Strategic Trade Development Senior Executive said, “Aspen is actioning President Ramaphosa’s call to action and we have handed over a mobile library to Dulcie September Primary school as part of our Mandela Day initiative. Our employees believe in the cause of empowering youth through education and they generously donated books to the library through an internal book drive.”

The Honourable Deputy Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize said, “With South Africa’s education landscape changing and evolving, it is important that we all contribute the best way we possibly can. Aspen’s contribution to changing the narrative and be part of the solution cannot be taken for granted at all. We are truly thankful for this selfless initiative and the direct impact it has on the future of our generation”.

Attiene Williams, Principal of Dulcie September Primary School said, “We are very grateful to Aspen for their generous donation of the mobile library as it is a great addition to our school and a step in the right direction for our learners.’

Dulcie September Primary school is based in the resource constrained and underprivileged community of Rabie Ridge located on the outskirts of Midrand. It is a no-fee school and the reading culture is non-existent due to a lack of motivation to read among students. The Rabie Ridge Library also partnered with Aspen and the school to assist with administration of the library and to flight their e-learning program to learners at the school.

Aspen’s Mandela Day projects cover a broad spectrum of initiatives that include healthcare, nutrition, education, social enhancement and development, infrastructural improvements, animal wellbeing and preserving the environment. There is no discrimination in beneficiary selection with kindness shown to citizens of all ages from all walks of life.