The Shine Sunset

In March 2024, Shine will close its doors. This will include the managed transition of our activities to our Chapter partner’s hands, whilst at the same time open-licensing and sharing our learning resources so that they are available to partners, literacy organisations, funders, and government into the future once we have closed next year.

Literacy unlocks potential

We provide every child with the key so they can shine.

The need

Literacy levels in South Africa are notoriously low, leaving most of our children unable to reach their academic potential.

In addition, poor nutrition, dire living conditions and violence in communities distract effective learning. The high rate of repeating grades in the Foundation Phase dampens the learners’ self-esteem and weakens their motivation to learn.

Often, there is very little support for children at home with parents and caregivers being too weighted down by work-life demands and challenging socio-economic circumstances. Sadly, some parents also undervalue their own abilities to support children on their literacy journey.

Our solution

Through our context-appropriate, sustainable literacy support programmes, we are tackling the literacy challenge in South Africa.

We focus on Grade 2 and 3 learners to secure effective learning through the ability to read for meaning by the end of the Foundation Phase.

At the heart of our approach lies creating a culture of reading in schools and homes in our communities. We do this by training individuals, educators, communities and organisations in our methodology so that we may tackle the educational crisis together.

We transform children’s prospects in low-income communities across four provinces in South Africa with the help of youth, volunteers, donors and partners – who believe that every child deserves an equal chance to succeed.

Our Approach

(Theory of Change)

In South Africa, literacy levels are unacceptably low, and too many children do not fulfill their academic potential at school. If we deliver programmes that support literacy learning at home and school, we will help to increase children’s access to quality literacy learning opportunities and resources, and equip parents and communities to play an active role in promoting early literacy. This will result in more children reading and writing at an appropriate level and ultimately in improved educational outcomes.


Join us for read-along-stories on our new mobile site

Our latest publications

Shine Literacy Annual Report 2022
Shine Literacy Mid-Year Report
Creating a Nation of Readers
Shine Literacy Hour handbook

To find out more about the handbook email

The Shine Literacy Hour is an early intervention programme, giving support with reading, writing and language to children in Grades 2 and 3. Trained volunteers, work with one or two children at a time, providing a level of attention that is not always possible in the classroom. This Shine Literacy Hour handbook is a volunteer key resource explaining content, methodology and materials used during the Shine Literacy Hour.


2006 – Maurita Weissenberg finalist in Woman of Worth
2008 – Reconciliation Award from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
2010 – Shine was one of 30 finalists selected from 89 countries for the prestigious WISE Awards
2012 – ‘Rising Star’ (Africa-Middle East) Award from the STARS Foundation
2013 – Outstanding Volunteer of the Year from SAIF awarded to Kathryn Torres
2013 – Silver Award from Impumelelo for Social Innovation

Each individual matters
Shine creates an environment which affirms a child’s importance.
Listen with respect and without interruption
The quality of our attention profoundly affects the quality of other people’s thinking.
Treat each other as thinking peers
We learn from one another, regardless of age or qualification.
Ease creates, urgency destroys
An environment that encourages children to work at their own pace facilitates learning.
Practice the art of appreciation
Be generous and genuine with praise and words of encouragement.