On 2 December 2016, the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Community Engagement Unit in partnership with Reading and Writing Solutions had an official Nelson Mandela Day Book drive handing over at Excelsior High school for 50 schools in the greater Cape Town area.
The event was made possible by a generous donation of R1.2 million from the Oxford University Press, UWC staff and volunteers from the Reading and Writing Solutions.
The Community Engagement unit at UWC is embedded in engagement through teaching and learning, research, sustainable partnerships, social capital and social justice as they make up contributory factors towards sustainable community well-being.
The unit aspired to align the said purpose with Nelson Mandela Day on the 18th July as a book drive was conducted encouraging staff, stakeholders to donate books for the disadvantaged schools who are in the process of developing their school libraries.
The event was attended by UWC Deputy Vice Chancellor: Academic, Professor Vivienne Lawack, in her keynote address she encouraged learners to pursue their dreams and to never stop reading.
“I’d rather be here than anywhere else, thank you for the invite, books are very important because they open up a new world as a kid I loved and still love books because they give the freedom to use my imagination.
“The more you read, the more you develop your literacy skills. This drive is very important because we as an institution are about sustainable partnerships, my dream is that next year we are able to donate to 100 schools ,” said Professor Lawack.
The Director of the Community Engagement unit, Professor Priscilla Daniels acknowledged all the role players and partners that contributed to the handover; partners like Oxford University Press, students at UWC, the departments, staff of the University of the Western Cape and Printwize.