As the two-year pilot comes to an end, MIET AFRICA wishes to thank the Zenex Foundation for its support, and thanks the learners, educators and partners who have supported the I Read, I Lead Project since January 2022.

Fostering a love of reading and books in young people is crucial for their intellectual and emotional development. This is especially true for learners at selected project schools in KwaZulu-Natal, who for the last two years, have been part of a pilot project to improve reading with understanding, and instil a love of the written word, and books.

As this two-year project comes to an end, two very exciting events recently took place to acknowledge the learners who have exceeded expectations, and to say thank you to the educators who have been supportive of the project, since it began In January 2022.

A partnership project initiated and supported by the Zenex Foundation, and in collaboration with the Umlazi Education District Curriculum unit, the project was implemented in 10 schools, in the Umlazi District by MIET AFRICA. The I Read, I Lead Project explored classroom strategies to improve reading with understanding of English First Additional Language for learners in Grade 8 and 9.

In November, a I Read, I Lead competition took place in Durban. Three representatives who were identified as ‘top achievers’ competed in three categories; reading, dramatized book review and writing poetry. The event was such a success that one of the judges described it as being on par with it being Eisteddfod! Eager and confident learners took to the stage to perform their pieces and were rewarded in a special ceremony. Special thanks go to the Centre for Creative Arts and Oxford University Press for adjudicating the event.

“It has been remarkable to witness improved learners’ confidence with reading and language. Before the project started, some learners had never visited a library before, or read out loud. Watching these learners fall in love with books, discover hidden writing talents, speak on global dialogues, proves that reading can change lives,” said Ndabezinhle Khoza, Training Co-Ordinator for the I Read, I Lead Project. “Now, two years later, we see the same learners who were so shy or afraid to read, or read out loud, reading a passage or a poem to an audience!”

To keep the momentum of reading improvement, A Readers, Leaders workshop was held for learners and educators. Since the project equipped the 10 schools with new books and resources, the workshop targeted “reader-leaders” to collaborate and work together to ensure that the mobile libraries of books, knowledge of how to take care of books, and how to run a successful library will be taken forward.

A representative from eThekweni Municipality Libraries presented at the workshop and spoke about membership drives and book care. She went on to explain how schools can check out books for learners using their own account at the community library.

MIET AFRICA wishes to acknowledge the support of the Zenex Foundation, and thanks the learners, educators and all partners who have made this project such a resounding success.

For more information about the project, please contact Chris Ramdas on

Reading and Literacy Project Wrap-up Events