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Izzi Trust Library Project Fully Funded By Sasix

One of Izzi Trust’s flagship projects is the container library that we installed at Ncemaneni School in June 2008.  Ncemaneni Combined School is an underprivileged school nestling in the rolling hills of Zululand. 

In 2009 we approached SASIX, the South African Social Investment Exchange, for funds to purchase more books for the library – and we are proud to announce that the project was fully funded in January 2010. 

The Izzi Trust provided Ncemaneni with improved reading resources in the form of 1,200 new books in English and Zulu. 388 children from Grade 0 to Grade 9 will have access to a wide variety of specially selected fiction, poetry and grammar books as well as comics and an Encyclopaedia. The expanded school container library will also benefit 22 students of Adult Based Literacy (ABET) classes held at the school weekly, as well as over 200 AIDS orphans, who listen to story-telling and reading by teachers at the school’s soup-kitchen daily. The required book categories have been identified by the school Library Committee in consultation with the Izzi Trust. The books researched, selected and labelled by Biblionef, an organisation that specialises in sourcing age- and culture-appropriate books for under-resourced schools and communities. The books have been added to the school library, teachers will be able to borrow them and integrate them into their lessons, while school learners will read at the library during the weekly reading hour, ABET students will have access to appropriate reading material in Zulu, and the orphans will listen to stories read by teachers during their meal time. Reading patterns will be monitored through the library register and language improvement by school learners and ABET students will be assessed through learner results at the end of the school year.

For more information on the project, please do to

Ncemaneni School

In June 2008 the Izzi Trust joined forces with the South African explorer Kingsley Holgate to install a 40 foot container library at Ncemaneni Combined School in the rolling hills of Zululand.  The library’s books were chosen by the school’s teachers and learners, with the help of Biblionef, a charity which specializes in the provision of age and culture appropriate books to schools and communities in South Africa.

The library is an overwhelming success. 


How The Library Is Run

A dedicated Library Committee ensures proper usage, with buy-in from all sectors of Ncemaneni’s community, including an Adult Literacy programme.  The committee is made up of the headmaster of the school, two educators, the MD of Shakaland (2 kms away), two local leaders and the Project Director of the Izzi Trust.  It meets three times a year to evaluate the library’s usage and to choose new books, using funds donated to the Izzi Trust for this purpose.

We are constantly looking for ways to increase the number of books in the library, now that the school and community have demonstrated both their willingness to take care of the books, and their dedication in using the library on a daily basis.

Impact on the Area

Please bear in mind that the majority of the children attending this school come from illiterate households, where there is not a book to be seen, and you will begin to realize just what this library has done for this rural community.

In the words of Mr. Armstrong Mthembu, headmaster of Ncemaneni: ‘The innumeracy and illiteracy rates are alarming in our immediate community and this needs drastic steps to eradicate it, not only in children but on older people so that they can fit in the corporate world.  Our ABET (Adult Based Literacy and Training) classes have improved a lot in terms of reading, such that around 83% of them are able to read isiZulu on their own.  There is a tremendous improvement also in our learners’ academic achievement last year (2008), when they moved from 64% in March to 94% in the final assessment for the year.  This therefore makes it more clear that we do need more books in our library to achieve even more.’

Let’s Do Even More

The library has had an amazing impact on the community of Ncemaneni – even though 60% of the shelves are still bare.  We are looking for donations to enable us to fill the library within the next two years. 

Our Partners

Pan Macmillan SA have agreed to match every cash donation we receive for the library.  What heroes!  Please help us to take advantage of their generosity and fill that library, with appropriate books, so that the children of Ncemaneni really can have the quality of education they deserve.

To Donate

To donate funds to the Ncemaneni Library Fund, please click here.


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