Reading Club: Phillippi Informal Settlement

The Uphawu Community Development initiative was established by STBB employee Mondeka Mabibini and has as members three other STBB employees.

Uphawu this year launched a new project, the Fundani Reading Club (‘fundani’ meaning ‘Let’s read!’) for the youth of the Samora Machel informal settlement in Philippi.

Mondeka’s research shows that children from impoverished communities such as this would greatly benefit from productive ways to pass their time after school in the afternoons engaged in meaningful activities, the lack of which can leave these children vulnerable to negative elements like gangs, illegal drugs and sexual abuse. Improving their reading skills, providing access to literature, and creating a love for reading and a reading culture in these children gives them a sense of self and their place in the world and helps them to complete their formal education.

To create the first of hopefully many reading rooms, they need

  • a large converted shipping container, which will be stocked with
  • books , toys and shelving;
  • chairs and large cushions to sit on;
  • paint and carpets/mats to make it cozy;
  • a pc or laptop with internet access; and
  • nutrition such as sandwiches and soup.

The success of this project relies on your generosity. Mondeka has applied for a NPO certificate to enable donors to declare their donations for tax purposes. If you would like to make a donation or would like to get involved in other ways, please contact Mondeka Mabibini on or Maryna Botha on


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