Rally To Read is about sponsors, organisers and participants visiting the most remote and needy schools in rural areas to deliver books, teaching aids, science kits, sports equipment, educational toys and other material. Since inception, over R42-million has been spent on improving the quality of education at 650 remote, rural schools through this programme.
During the weekends of May/June 2012, convoys of off-road vehicles departed from main cities across the country to deliver educational materials to some of the country’s most neglected schools. Once at the schools, Rally participants met and interacted with the learners and teachers who benefit from the deliveries, as well as the subsequent professional development, which is provided for three years by The READ Educational Trust.
This was the first time Y&R’s Tammy Lehnberg (Head of HR) and Michelle Cavé (PR Director) attended a Rally To Read. They joined the Weenen/ Tugela Valley, KZN North region from 1-3 June 2012. They had no idea what to expect!
Michelle commented on the experience saying, “It was an incredibly slick and well organised event that has become so popular to attend since it was launched 14 years ago. In fact, it’s so over-subscribed that Rally had to turn volunteers away this year. The Rally was a humbling experience that filled me with so much pride. I was proud to be a part of an initiative that I’d heard so much about and proud of everyone who made the effort to ‘do good’. That said, I felt the trip was both uplifting and depressing. The gratitude shown by the communities through their singing and dancing was touching and certainly made my heart smile, but when I thought about the challenges these communities face daily, and wonder when they last ate, I felt deeply saddened. I’m glad that I could play a small part in putting a smile on some of their faces and am grateful to everyone who made this trip possible for me.”
Tammy added, “As a mother, I know what sacrifices one needs to make in order to give your children the best, possible education, so as to ensure they can one day live their dreams. Seeing these kids so grateful to receive books, just so they can learn how to read, was an amazing, but humbling experience. As Michelle and I played soccer on the porch of a classroom with some of the kids, it again struck me that even things like a soccer field, that we so easily take for granted, they don’t have. All they have is dirt and stones! I am sincerely grateful to have been a part of this initiative.”