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Investing in early literacy is investing in the future of South Africa
Book-ownership among South African children is shockingly low – 58% of households don’t own a single leisure book (SABDC, 2016) – and it has lead to equally low literacy levels throughout school and into adulthood. Illiteracy carries a huge cost to the economy (Gustafasson, 2010) and reputable, worldwide studies show that improving access to books for low-income children is a low-cost, high impact way of addressing the problem, but traditional publishing models aren’t designed to create affordable books for all
Book Dash aims to flood the country with books to address South Africa’s illiteracy crisis. We achieve this through our innovative events, known as a Book Dash, that brings together designers, writers, illustrators and editors of the highest quality to produce uniquely South African story books in the space of 12 hours. With this being a volunteer run initiative it eliminates almost all of the publishing costs which allows us, with the help of our partners, to distribute these books into the homes of under-served communities. Working with dedicated partners we translate, print and get these books directly to children and parents across South Africa through various distribution channels.
Our innovative publishing model allows us to print our books at just R10 a copy without compromising on quality. All of our books are made using an open license, that maximises the reach of our books, by allowing anyone anywhere to access our books. Our online library gives access to all of our books as PDF ebooks, as well as PDF print-ready files and audiobooks where they are available.Alternatively our books can be read using our Android app available on google play!
Book Dash have distributed over 430,000 books through our dedicated distribution channel. We partner with organisations working with Early Childhood Development centers mostly in rural areas. This way we can ensure our books are making it into the hands of those that need them most!
Book Dash is a registered voluntary association, non-profit-organisation (145-694 NPO) and public-benefit organisation (PBO 930047958). We issue Section 18a tax-exempt certificates for bona fide donations. We are also a level 1 B-BBEE organisation.