Sonwabile and Sharon - running for kids' futures

In 2019, a major problem reported in Western Cape public schools is that classes are too large - 1 teacher for 38 children on average (2018) and fees are too high. 2020's COVID-19 pandemic worsened the existing struggles of many students - rotational attendance and lack of technological infrastructure to access online learning, with teachers and schools experiencing budget cuts. The schools involved in Reading for Hope host feeding schemes and have both only recently acquired built libraries in the last 2 years to serve their students. Another basic overlooked item is that of stationery - a pencil and book is not always in easy reach for families surviving on less than R3 200 per month (2011).

Meet our friend Sharon

Teaching has always been my calling and I spent many rewarding years in the classroom teaching foundation phase children. The most exciting aspect of my career was to watch children develop their reading skills, especially the Grade Ones.

Sharon is part of our church community, a retired primary school teacher who now tutors children privately and leads the Reading for Hope initiative. She is running her 18th Two Oceans Marathon. She is raising funds for literacy and education needs of the children connected to Reading for Hope.

Pictured below: weekly sessions at Silverlea Primary School in Athlone, Cape Town.

It always concerned me that there is such a disparity between schools in South Africa. The legacy of apartheid is still with us. I often felt that I was only ‘scratching the surface’ of the problems and so when I retired, I prayed about being given an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and to give them a sense of hope.

What is Reading for Hope?

This is a program started by concerned mothers and teachers in our church community to help children improve their reading abilities and overall schooling experience. These children are from the E.A. Janari Primary (Bonteheuwel), Silverlea Primary (Athlone) and recently Capricorn Community Church (Vrygrond) communities.

It soon became obvious that I should join in the ministry that had already been started at Pinelands Baptist Church. Reading for Hope is a small organization that sends volunteers into schools to mentor children in their efforts to read. We also spend time supporting them emotionally, establishing relationships with them.

We have seen God’s hand in providing for us in amazing ways. However, if we are going to reach more children, we will need more funds.

Pictured above: weekly sessions at E.A. Janari Primary School in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town.

Why running?

This is where my running comes in. From being a couch potato, I unexpectedly started running 23 years ago – and haven’t stopped since. It has been a wonderful way of dealing with stress and of enjoying the outdoors. I have run 17 Two Oceans Half Marathons and am aiming to reach 20. I am excited to use this chance to combine two of my passions and raise funds through sponsorship to reach even more children.

Sharon will run the 21.1km half-marathon on 16 April 2022, Newlands to UCT.

Pictured below: weekly education support sessions run by members of Capricorn Community Church for 10+ children connected to them.

Meet our friend Sonwabile

I live in Lower Crossroads. I work here. I am a community developer. My life’s work is about uplifting my community. Ubuntu in action. I am because you are. I am campaigning for local issues. This is my way of doing a bit more.

Sonwabile is a friend of ours, a community developer practitioner based in Philippi/Lower Crossroads, previously working with Beautiful Gate South Africa and now involved with Philippi Economic Development Initiative. He is running to raise funds for local initiatives that develop kids through education, sports and play.

What are your passions?

· Seeing people grow and reach their aspirations

· Career guidance

· Sports as a unifying and positive space for children

· Programmes that encourage education and sports

The other day I was passing by the [local Philippi] clinic. I saw a young woman who was one of the children who came to Beautiful Gate. She is now driving her own car; she works as a sister at the clinic. I remember tutoring her and being patient with her lateness. I love to see that.

This event, Sonwabile is running for the literacy and education needs of children.

How has your training gone?

Every day I gym 6am – 8am. Once on the weekend I run on the highway. I start on the R300, in Mandalay. I run to Baden Powell, then I go via Mfuleni and Driftsands, and return to Lower Crossroads. I don’t take my cellphone when I run this route. Even my shoes sometimes attract unnecessary attention. It is approximately 32km. I meet other joggers as I go. We just say ‘Hi Runner’ and we join up jogging together! Wednesdays I run from Cape Town Stadium to Camps Bay.

Sonwabile will run the 56km ultramarathon on 17 April 2022, Newlands to UCT.

Cape Peninsula Marathon 2022

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to Sonwabile's first marathon campaign- we managed to reach our goal of R20 000. Lerato's Hope will be channeling these funds into community kitchens and projects we have worked alongside with for the past three years. These projects are ECDs, churches, sports groups and community based organisations providing safe spaces for children in 9 different locations of the Lower Crossroads - Philippi East area. These kitchens began running long before we began a partnership, providing hunger relief especially during the difficult COVID-19 pandemic period of 2020. View the pics and video from the day on the right.

Next up: Two Oceans Marathon!

This time round, we have our two friends running for Leratos Hope! Sharon and Sonwabile are running for the literacy and education needs of 200 children in Philippi, Bonteheuwel, Athlone and Capricorn.

Lerato's Hope is a registered Public Benefit Organisation and Not-for-profit Organisation. Donations are tax deductible. Should you make a donation - please do let us know, we would love to send you a formal letter of thanks and Section 18A tax certificate, but we understand many prefer to remain anonymous.

Donation channels

Lerato's Hope
Standard Bank
Branch no. 036309
Account no. 073047171

Reference: Your name + Sport