Siphesihle Lando

19 Nov Siphesihle Lando

Responding to South Africa’s literacy crisis and the other challenges in the education system requires a multi-layered and all-inclusive approach. 

The schools, particularly in the outskirts and low income communities of the country face particular kind of plights – tied to the socioeconomic conditions of the communities they exist in and the historical legacies of displacement, invisibility and appropriation. 

It against that backdrop that Shine Literacy has established the Khanyisa literacy programme, which places trained unemployed youth in Foundation Phase classrooms. The youth assist teachers by providing every child in the class with structured time to practice reading, increasing their exposure to books, placing reading at the core of the daily schedule in the Foundation Phase. 

Siphesihle Lando (23) is a Khanyisa volunteer at Masonwabe Primary School, at Delft and has experienced the programme improve the academic and language skills of the children. 

“The programme helps a lot of children and makes them understand the importance and benefits of reading every day, which then leads to the increase in the literacy levels.” 

Siphesihle has previously completed an Educare course at Northlink College. She has always loved being around children and sees Khanyisa as a positive contribution to her community.

“Volunteering in the programme was not a waste of time. It has given me the opportunity to build, invest and make change in my community and in the lives of children.” 

Such youth volunteerism continues to play an active role in the development of South Africa, through quality programmes such as Khanyisa that create space for young people to lead, shape and influence the educational agenda.    

Siphesihle adds that it is also through the Programme that she has gained many other skills such as effective communication and dynamic leadership.