Three weeks in and, by now, viewers of Your Next Million would have noticed a trend: our game show was created to brighten the lives of contestants who appear on each episode, but it also has a much wider social purpose – helping move South Africa forward to its Next one non-government organisation at a time. Each week, a winning Standard Bank customer selects an NGO that gets rewarded with a R50 000 cheque. Last week’s winner was Shine Literacy.
“We are over the moon,” says Hanli van Aswegen, Communications and Donor Co-ordinator of Shine Literacy, referring to the win. “Our vision is a nation of readers, and we are always thrilled when people acknowledge just how vital literacy is, and partner with us to work towards this vision.”
Based in Cape Town with Shine Centres and Chapters throughout South Africa, the non-profit’s literacy programmes are helping to transform the prospects of some of South Africa’s most vulnerable children. In so doing, Shine Literacy breaks the cycle of poverty. According to studies, our country’s literacy rate remains critically low – even lower than that of less-developed nations on the continent. The negative economic impacts are obvious, but the NGO’s initiatives teach and encourage children to reach their full potential.
By providing structured educational support, and storybooks and readers, as well as empowering parents and caregivers through Family Literacy Workshops, Shine Literacy works to strengthen the reading, writing and speaking skills of primary school-aged children.
Hanli believes the Your Next Million award will go a long way in getting many more young children to their Next – developing a skill that will be theirs for life. Sponsoring a child to participate in Shine Literacy’s Hour programmes costs R2 500 per annum. So, our “incredible gift” will allow the NGO to support 20 children for a whole year. According to Hanli, the trajectory of young lives will change forever.
“This isn’t just helping us to achieve our Next, it’s playing part in so many Nexts. Setting up children for success is nation building, and the ripple effects will reach far and wide. We are so grateful that Standard Bank is investing not just in its customers, but in South Africa at large.”