Girl reading at the library

School Aid: Our Legacy

School Aid will soon be closing its doors for the last time and we are truly grateful to each and every one who has supported us in any way. Despite not being able to continue our operations, we have taken swift action and worked quickly to ensure that our projects and people have future security.

Over the past 21 years we have positively:

  • Created and developed 25 managed libraries
  • trained over 45 librarians
  • supported over 45,000 learners in our libraries
  • resourced over 1000 schools
  • reached over 800,000 children
  • distributed over 1.6 million books

With extensive experience in improving literacy achievements for disadvantaged children in sub-Saharan Africa, School Aid are well placed to preserve its legacy for years to come. We have safeguarded our remaining funds, which in addition to a final farewell legacy grant and a number of additional gifts, will ensure that we meet plans to secure our work for many years to come.

In South Africa our legacy funding will:

  • Secure a part time Library Project Manager role in Johannesburg with our sister charity School Aid South Africa. They will maintain key relationships with our libraries, providing support and mentoring to Library Assistants and School Principals.
  • Enable them to continue to host cluster meetings between key personnel to enhance shared knowledge and best practice.
  • Oversee the delivery of School Aid’s most recent initiative, the Accelerated Reader Programme started this year at Impala Crescent Primary School in Gauteng.
  • Fund a new role for two years for our School Aid Africa Programme Manager Mike Manwela. Mike will be moving to Cape Town early 2020 to embark on a new role with trusted School Aid partner The Bookery. Mike will oversee the development of School Aid and The Bookery libraries on a national basis. This is an excellent new role for Mike and we are delighted to have been able to underpin this opportunity to share the expertise he has acquired through School Aid UK.
  • Provide through Mike, support and mentoring to Lithabaneng Library in Lesotho and our three libraries in Malawi.
  • Enable continuation of the Accelerated Reading Pilot Programme to provide key data and evidence to support School Aid South Africa’s work and to demonstrate the vital link between access to libraries and supported reading programmes in improving literacy skills essential for positive life opportunities.
  • Enable 15 UK funded libraries to continue in School Aid’s name, testament to our policy of creating a financially sustainable independent model of delivery.
  • Continue to empower our staff with skills for them to grow in their roles and use this to influence future achievements.

In Malawi we have been able to secure:

  • Ongoing stipend agreements with LICO to support all three libraries. We are working with partners to secure visits and mentoring opportunities.
  • Shared information on partner contacts and UK schools with like-minded charity Book Aid International who ship and donate books to Malawi schools. This will enable an ongoing supply of resources.

In Lesotho we have been able to secure:

  • Ongoing stipend agreements for Lithabaneng schools are in place. They will benefit from monthly mentoring opportunities from Mike Manwela.

Reading Clubs

Whilst we are unable to continue with the extensive delivery of reading clubs, over the four years they have been running they have benefited over 1500 children to instil a love of reading and ambition to learn. The benefits extend to upskilling for both children and staff and considerable resourcing of books.

These benefits will be shared and passed on for generations to come creating, extending benefits to change lives for happy positive futures. Each and every one of our 1.6million distributed books has and continues to make a positive impact on a child.

We are proud of all our achievements and of our ability to leave a positive lasting legacy.

Thank you on behalf of School Aid.


Lady Joy Baker, President