Cash boost for literacy project

Founder of Reading and Writing Solutions (RWS), Jeff Paulse, and RWS volunteer, Sakina Davids, received a R10 000 gift card from Firdaus Pietersen, the sales manager at Shoprite in Athlone.

Reading and Writing Solutions (RWS), an Athlone-based non-profit organisation, became the first beneficiary of a national initiative between an organisation, 12 radio stations, and a supermarket chain, when it received a R10 000 gift card towards its cause.

The donation came about after one of the RWS volunteers, Sakina Davids, heard about a competition specifically aimed at supporting organisations, while listening to the Voice of the Cape radio station. The requirement was that whoever nominates an organisation for the donation, should write a motivational letter as to why it is deserving, and Ms Davids immediately set out to do that.

When she did not hear from the organisers after a while, she took it that her motivation did not make the cut, however, on Monday September 18, she was pleasantly surprised.

Three organisations made the shortlist, and RWS was chosen as the deserving organisation for September.

Founder of RWS, Jeff Paulse, was interviewed live on air, and was given the good news there.

On Wednesday September 20, Mr Paulse and Ms Davids received the R10 000 gift card from Shoprite in Athlone.

“When they announced that RWS was chosen as a recipient on this, I clapped my hands and cried on radio. Whenever Jeff speaks about RWS, he never speaks in the singular. He always reminds us volunteers that the organisation cannot be successful without the help of all the volunteers, so this was the least I could do,” Ms Davids said.

Mr Paulse said starting a non-profit organisation involves hard work, but it is very rewarding.

“The donation is overwhelming. I am surrounded by the most warm-hearted and generous, committed volunteers and partners. This week I felt like a radio announcer myself, because I was interviewed on two radio stations. The work of RWS was spread because of the excellent work of the Athlone News. I had butterflies in my stomach when the announcement was made. As RWS, and all the lives of the people who are being positively impacted, we would like to thank Shoprite for helping with the development of literacy in our community. We hope more corporates will follow their example,” Ms Paulse said.

Mr Paulse also announced that RWS will embark on its biggest fundraising campaign, starting today Wednesday September 27, through which they hope to raise R1 million within two months, for the construction of four reading rooms in Gleemoor. “My motto is that a little done well, is much. The success of RWS speaks for itself,” he added.

The competition is part of a national upliftment campaign by public benefit organisation, Take My Hand (TMH). As part of the TMH Community Network, its donor broadcasts once a month on 12 regional radio stations, asking the public to nominate a deserving community project that they feel needs some assistance. These nominees go through TMH’s diligence process, and every month, 12 organisations (one at each radio station) will be selected. In the next 12 months, which started this month, TMH will be funding and supporting 144 organisations throughout South Africa.

* Take My Hand was established in 2011 and has assisted more than 500 000 beneficiaries over the past two years. Its main aim is to provide funding and ongoing support to deserving organisations and emerging micro-enterprises in South Africa.

* Part of the RWS R1 million fundraiser campaign, involves a book sale, on Saturday September 30, from 9am to 3pm, at the proposed reading rooms site, on the corner of Thornton and Boeschoten roads, Gleemoor. There will be fun and games for children, food stalls, and new books, aimed at young and old, on sale at bargain prices. Contact Mr Paulse at or 082 216 2460.