Empowering Rural South Africa through Fantasy Reading Corners

A Collaboration Between Light from Africa Foundation and the Oxford Centre for Fantasy

In a significant stride towards making reading and literacy more accessible in rural South Africa, the Light from Africa Foundation (LFA) has forged an inspiring partnership with the Oxford Centre for Fantasy in the U.K. This joint initiative seeks to expand LFA’s remarkable work in establishing libraries in underserved communities, with a special focus on infusing the magic of fantasy literature into the hearts and minds of South African children.

The Oxford Centre for Fantasy, renowned for its commitment to preserving the legacy of iconic author J.R. Tolkien, is a hub for fantasy enthusiasts. This foundation also celebrates the works of other fantasy luminaries, including Lewis Carroll and C.S. Lewis. Their mission is to share the enchantment of storytelling and kindle the imagination of the next generation of fantasy creators.

With permission from LFA, they embarked on a Library Quest, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of J.R. Tolkien’s passing. The goal was to raise £10,000 to extend the gift of reading to countless children in South Africa’s rural areas, where access to books remains scarce. It’s alarming to note that 8 out of 10 South African children struggle with reading by the age of 10.

We are pleased to announce that the Library Quest achieved its fundraising target and all funds raised will be going towards LFA’s efforts to establish fantasy reading corners and setting up new libraries in rural communities in the Western Cape and other identified areas across South Africa. Their plan involves creating inviting libraries stocked with books in local languages, ensuring that all children, regardless of their circumstances, can explore the captivating worlds concealed between the pages of a book.

“We are delighted about this partnership and are looking forward to making this dream project a reality. The achievement of their remarkable goal has been made possible through the generosity and support of individuals who believe in the transformative power of reading. Thanks to these contributions, the Fantasy Reading Corners will become a reality, and the lives of countless underprivileged South African children will be forever enriched,” said LFA Director—Almarie Pelser.

The Centre for Fantasy – Oxford expressed their heartfelt appreciation on their Facebook page, saying: “Thank you to all who have contributed to improving the lives of underprivileged children in South Africa. In the coming months, we will be sharing updates about the implementation of fantasy corners, reading nooks, book clubs, and the cultivation of reading cultures by revitalizing neglected school libraries.”

This collaboration between LFA and the Centre for Fantasy – Oxford is a beacon of hope, illuminating the path to a brighter future for South African children. With the magic of fantasy at their fingertips, these children are poised to explore the vast world of literature, one page at a time.

For more information about this exciting initiative, email info@lightfromafrica.com or call Almarie Pelser on 082 372 3135.


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