Continuing with its outreach efforts to do good in the surrounding communities, the South African casino and hospitality group, Sun International made some substantial contributions to bring the gift of reading to underprivileged children around the country.
Sun International Properties Donate
Sun International’s Umhlanga-based Sibaya Casino donated over R140,000 to grade three and four pupils at four different schools in the area - The Siphosethu, Sibonginhlanhla, Highstone and Redfern Primary Schools - to help them buy books and set up mini libraries.
The principal of Redfern in Phoenix, Durban thanked Sun International and Sibaya Casino profusely for the opportunity to provide his pupils with the gift of literacy. He pointed out that there was a lack of literacy in the formative years of education, and the casino group’s investment would go a long way in turning around the current problem. The Maslow Sandton Hotel donated nearly 400 books to lower grade pupils at the Ekukhanyisweni Primary School in Alexander, located just 10 km from Sun International’s head office in Sandton.
Sun City, the group’s flagship property in the North Westprovince, donated 100 new books to the SG Ntuane Primary School. A library was also set up at the school, furnished with 50 story books and readers.
Sun City chefs also pampered the children with special lunch packs which were distributed together with the books. GrandWest Casino in the Mother City partnered with current Miss SA, Shudufhadzo Musida and sent casino representatives to the poverty-stricken area of Bishop Lavis. Grade 2 – 4 pupils at Riverton Primary School received the gift of three mini libraries and hundreds of new books.
The Golden Valley Casino in Worcester donated R16,000 towards the purchase of 160 books for pupils at Esselen Park Primary School.
The special literacy project was made possible thanks to the help of Read to Rise, a South African NPO which believes that every child needs to be able to read if he or she wants to advance in life.
“The pandemic has brought about so many challenges and heartache for learners in our communities, so we are extremely grateful to Sun International for partnering with Read to Rise on International Literacy Day to get children, around the country, excited about books and reading,” said the executive director of Read to Rise, Taryn Lock.
She added that the problem facing under-resourced communities is that young learners aren’t reading enough. She said that children in the lower age groups should, ideally, be reading 40 – 50 books every year. However, in disadvantaged areas, children read two at the most.
“Seeing the wonder on these children’s faces when we read to them and took them through the journey of an acorn was a gift and made the donation worth it,” said the CSI manager at Sun International, Heidi Edson, who attended the event in Alexandra.
“We are grateful that we can, in conjunction with Read to Rise, give these children a gift that will hopefully change their lives for the better,” she added.