AVBOB's Passport Away from Poverty

LENTEGEUR (Mitchells Plain). – This week, devoted parents and learners of West End Primary on the Cape Flats took possession of a "passport away from poverty" - namely, literacy, with open arms.

In a touching and inspiring event attended by national and provincial education officials, parents, community organizations and business people, a mobile library with 2,500 books worth approxi-mately R350 000 was donated to the school by the AVBOB Foundation. The CEO of the AVBOB Group, Frik Rademan, personally attended to the handover and opening of the library.

Fadiela Chothia, a circuit manager of the Western Cape Education Department, said that every school should have a school library. The latest studies in Nigeria show that schools with libraries have a 20% better learner performance than in those that have none.

"AVBOB'S choice to donate the library to West End Primary is absolutely the right choice. It is a ne-cessity. Students should know that literacy is “your passport away from poverty”, Chothia said.

Shahiem Nelson, governing body member and community leader, said libraries should be the cor-nerstone of communities. People need to empower themselves through literacy.

"People who are struggling to read, struggle in life. Literacy empowers you. It is a privilege to learn and empower yourself. Thank you to AVBOB,” Nelson said.

Gail Lindsay, a parent, told the audience that books open up a whole new world to you. "We do not have the time and it is too dangerous in our neighbourhood to take children to public libraries, so this donation of AVBOB is so welcome. Thank you very much."

Similo Qwabe, the school's head girl, quoted the world icon Nelson Mandela who said: "Readers are leaders."

Mr. Clive Arries, principal, said there are 88 schools in Mitchells Plain. "That is why we are so grate-ful for the mobile library - also equipped with solar power. Students – you must be thankful and proud of what you now have," he said.

Rademan said in the main address that the national government has major challenges. Literacy is one of the key aspects that is singled out in the government's national growth plan. The private sector and the state should seize opportunities to promote literacy, together. "It must be a new struggle against illiteracy."

"AVBOB, who will soon be doing business for a 100 years, will continue to invest in the future. And I have a special message for you: You people can achieve great heights. There may be affluent are-as with great schools you will know of, but I know that with literacy and hard work you can achieve what you like," Rademan said.

The West End Library is the 31th that AVBOB has donated since this project began in 2012.

The AVBOB Centenary Year is in 2018.
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