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The Family Literacy Project is based in Underberg a small town 30 miles North West of Centocow. It is in the Southern Drakensberg mountains.


The team members work in the Southern Drakensberg, in deep rural villages and in the rural towns and low cost housing developments of Underberg and Himeville. They use school classrooms, community halls, churches, homes and community libraries for the sessions in 15 communities, including Mpumlwane and Ndodeni near Centocow.


The Main Projects are:



These groups meet twice a week to improve their language and literacy skills, and to discuss a range of topics relating to their development and well being. Some members have attended from the start of the project in 2000.


Before Family Literacy Project opened the first community library, group members visited their neighbours to see whether they would use a library. The results were overwhelmingly in favour and, with perfect timing, we were asked by the NGO Biblionef if we would like a container library.


The bright blue container arrived in Stepmore and our first community library was opened in November 2003. Furniture was provided by the governmnt library services and books came from Biblionef, and other donors; group members catalogued the books and set up the library. The library is open to anyone living in Stepmore and is run by one of our group members, with support from the facilitator.


Today, Family Literacy Project supports four community libraries which have been built with funds raised by the project. They have four literacy group members who work in the libraries five days a week.

Mpumulwane Library

Mpumulwane Library

Jane visited one of these Libraries in 2005. See her report here.


In 2012 over 10,000 books were borrowed from the community libraries and box libraries in the 15 villages where they work.




The group members’ desire to spread the message of early reading gave rise to the home visiting scheme. The women take books with them to read to children; they also talk to mothers and grandmothers about their role in helping their children develop. From 2004 we have included health messages in our sessions. Members applied these early literacy and health messages in their own homes and then shared what they had learned with their neighbours. They also played with the very young children in these households. In this way, the family literacy message was spread to people who were not coming to the sessions.
The Family Literacy Project makes use of help and materials from Nal’ibali as well as using teaching materials that they have developed themselves.




Due to the high rate of teenage pregnancy, FLP developed materials for girls 9-12 years of age to help them understand their changing bodies and at the same time to build their self esteem and encourage them to think about their future. The material covers a year, and includes information about careers and encourages self-awareness.


Our teenage groups meet once a week to discuss issues around relationships, sexuality and HIV+AIDS. the groups encourage discussion around topics which primary caregivers are uncomfortable raising with their children.


Click on these links to see Family Literacy Project’s Facebook page for the pictures in these posts


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Recent Comments


    Devon Centocow Link

    Jane Habermehl an early years specialist teacher made links with a group of schools in Rurual Kwa-Zulu-Natal in September 2001. The Exmouth Centocow Linking Assoc. was formed on her return and over the years she has shared her knowledge of pre-schools in South Africa and revisited the teachers on several occasions.
    Devon Centocow Link
    Devon Centocow Link
    Rural Pre-school teachers of the Centocow area need your support.

    The aim of my original trip to Centocow in 2001 was to work alongside pre-school teachers, helping them to set up an association which would unite them and give them mutual support and become a force for group training. Each time I visit I learn more about the country and its culture and feel privileged to work alongside these dedicated teachers. The teachers here work on a voluntary basis in very inadequately resources buildings.

    In 2001 there were eighteen pre-schools and now their number has swelled to sixty. Working with Zimbili Dlamini, the co-ordinator of the Family Literacy Project we have divided the schools into six clusters by area. Each cluster chose a co-ordinator who would arrange a meeting every six to eight weeks to share resources and support each other, helping each other with funding applications. They would have a smaller transport bill and Zimbili would be a nominal co-ordinator distributing funds for transport and refreshment costs but twice a year calling whole Association meetings for training purposes. The first of these will be in December when a social worker will visit them to advise them on the lengthy and complex bureaucratic process of registration.

    Registration does not give the teachers other than a nominal quarterly payment but it does ensure that their provision is adequate in a basic sense and the big bonus is that they receive good food for the children they care for on a daily basis.

    By Jane Habermehl.

    Devon Centocow Link is committed to pay the teachers’ travel costs to their meetings and for maintaining a few essential resources such as scissors crayons and glue. See the whole article at
    for more information about our work with the pre-schools.

    Please consider a monthly donation, however small, in order for us to continue this basic support
    Devon Centocow Link
    Devon Centocow Link
    Pre-schools in Centocow KZN
    Devon Centocow Link
    Devon Centocow Link is with Sibongile Mtungwa.
    Girl Power

    18 teenage girls from four rural schools in the Centocow area are working towards becoming Authentic African Women for the 21st Century.

    Check in for more information on our website
    Devon Centocow Link
    Devon Centocow Link
    Zimbile and the Family Literacy Project

    One of the exciting developments for Devon Centocow Link since becoming a registered charity is the potential for learning from and engaging with our partner non-profit organisations. This opportunity gives us further scope for assisting in new ventures as well as benefiting our current projects.

    Find out more at

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