Reading spreads ripples to a brighter future




Through its literacy programme, Ripple Reading hopes to make a significant and lasting difference to the learners they work with. (Image: Brand South Africa)

Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president.”

It is with this in mind that Ripple Reading, a Johannesburg NGO, works to improve the reading skills and overall literacy of young South Africans in poor communities.

“Imagine if you couldn’t read, what quality of life would you have?” asks Riana Robinson, the founder of Ripple Reading.


Ripple Reading works with schools in disadvantaged areas around the country by giving literacy training to children who are reading below the level appropriate for their age.

Their literacy programme is research-based and includes a scientific assessment of reading difficulties. It works with children from early childhood to high school level.

The Ripple Reading Leadership Development Programme equips learners with academic, sporting and leadership skills in their high school years.

The programme places these promising learners in private and well-run public schools through a bursary-like process. The learners are also mentored through high school to bring out their full potential.

A fair share of the learners enrolled in the literacy and leadership programmes come from underprivileged households.

With this in mind, the facilitators at Ripple Reading created the Social Upliftment Programme, through which they provide stationary, school uniforms, shoes and sports equipment to help learners get the most out of their education.

Watch this video and learn more about Ripple Reading’s Leadership Programme:


According to Robinson, Ripple Reading has helped change the lives of over 400 children since 2013, and aims to expand all over South Africa. She is now calling on all South Africans to help the NGO.

If the Ripple Reading cause resonates with you, then play your part and help them continue to make a difference in the lives of children in underprivileged schools.

There are a number of ways you can get involved. You can volunteer or make a donation to help them cover their running costs. Have a look at the “how you can help” section on their website for more details.


Everyone can make a positive difference in their own way. How are you working to support the development of those less fortunate?

Are you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you through your everyday actions? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to uplift their community?

If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.