Eighty people from Bonteheuwel – the youngest 16, the oldest 83 – have graduated from a course that has taught them to read and write.
They received certificates in a ceremony at Bonteheuwel Senior Secondary High School, on Saturday October 31.
The course was run by Reading and Writing Solutions, a non-profit organisation founded by retired teacher Jeff Paulse in 2013.
The literacy tuition programme runs from Monday to Friday at various venues in the community.
Mr Paulse, 69, said more than 1400 tutors volunteered with the programme.
“It is important for people to know how to read and write. It really changes their lives. There are five different levels they can proceed to, and we have a very low drop-out rate. At the end of the course, we ask them what impact the course had had on them, and their answers are amazing.”
Mr Paulse works with the Jill Fernandez Foundation and the University of the Western Cape, and motivational speakers address the students on a range of issues.
One of the graduates, Carmen Witbooi, said there was always light at the end of the tunnel for those who persevered.
“You can empower yourself through reading as it takes your mind to many destinations. Believe in yourself, keep pushing and keep giving.”
Zeenat Abrahams said the programme had inspired her to make a difference in her community.
“The workshop really taught me how powerful literacy is, and I am now able to help others learn to read and write.”